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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

US Supreme Court will not review appeal from Mexican citizen sentenced to death for killing family

No execution date set for Mexican man convicted of killing family found buried

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review an appeal from a Mexican citizen sentenced to death for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and 2 children, who were found buried under the bathroom floor in their Texas home.

The high court didn't include an explanation of its decision not to review the capial murder conviction of 62-year-old Robert Moreno Ramos. 

His attorneys have argued that Ramos wasn't told when he was arrested for the 1992 killings that he could get legal help from the Mexican government and that he had deficient legal help at his trial and in earlier appeals. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their arguments last year.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, found that Ramos, from Aguascalientes, Mexico, and more than 4 dozen other Mexican citizens awaiting execution in the U.S. weren't advised of their consular rights under the Vienna Convention when they were arrested. It recommended that they be tried again to determine if consular access would have affected their cases. President George W. Bush agreed and directed states to reopen the cases.

The Supreme Court overruled that directive, saying that only Congress can require states to follow the international court's ruling. That has not happened and several Texas inmates named in the international court ruling have since been executed.

Ramos, who also is identified in some court documents as Roberto Moreno Ramos, does not have an execution date. Evidence at his 1993 trial in Hidalgo County showed he used a sledge hammer to kill his 42-year-old wife, Leticia, their 7-year-old daughter, Abigail, and their 3-year-old son, Jonathan, at their home in Progreso, which is along the Mexico border about 20 miles southeast of McAllen.

According to court records, Ramos told a cousin they were killed in a car wreck and their bodies were cremated.

After providing other conflicting explanations, though, another relative went to police to report the woman and children missing. Their bodies were found buried under a freshly tiled floor in the home's bathroom.

Source: Dallas Morning News, May 17, 2017

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