January 23rd, 2014
06:32 AM ET

Convicted Cop killer Edgar Tamayo Arias Executed

A last-ditch push to keep a convicted cop killer alive failed Wednesday night when the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion to stay his execution.

Edgar Tamayo Arias, a Mexican national, was executed at 9:32 p.m. CT, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

His execution marks the first of the year in Texas and the 509th in the state since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Tamayo did not make a statement before his death, department spokesman Jason Clark said.

Mexico's government had been pushing to block Tamayo's execution, arguing that it would violate international law.

Lawyers for Tamayo criticized the Supreme Court's ruling.

"He will be executed tonight, despite the indisputable fact that his right to consular assistance was violated," attorneys Sandra L. Babcock and Maurie Levin said in a statement before Tamayo's lethal injection.

Tamayo, 46, was convicted of the 1994 murder of a Houston police officer.

Officer Guy Gaddis was fatally shot after arresting Tamayo and another man for robbery.

Tamayo's supporters say he was denied access to his consulate when arrested, as required by an international treaty.

In the past five years, Texas has executed two other Mexicans convicted of murder who raised similar claims. The Supreme Court refused to delay either of those executions, which took place in2008 and 2011.

Tamayo's lawyers argued the consulate access violation was more than a technicality - that Mexican officials would have ensured he had the most competent trial defense possible, if they had been able to speak with him right after his felony arrest.

Earlier Wednesday, the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Tamayo's clemency request.

The Bush and Obama administrations had urged Texas and other states to grant Tamayo and inmates in similar situations new hearings, fearing repercussions for Americans arrested overseas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has also weighed in on Tamayo's case, arguing that setting an execution date is "extremely detrimental to the interests of the United States."

"I want to be clear: I have no reason to doubt the facts of Mr. Tamayo's conviction, and as a former prosecutor, I have no sympathy for anyone who would murder a police officer," Kerry wrote. "This is a process issue I am raising because it could impact the way American citizens are treated in other countries."

Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said the state was committed to enforcing its laws.

"It doesn't matter where you're from — if you commit a despicable crime like this in Texas, you are subject to our state laws, including a fair trial by jury and the ultimate penalty," she said.

Tamayo was one of 40 Mexican citizens awaiting the death penalty in U.S. prisons.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. saul

    Its ok for cops to kill peolple...and then they get acquited with a slap on the hand....but as soon as someone else turns the table........they get the death penalty.....who cares if this guy is mexican...hes rights got violated and with that being said...the mexican goverment wont have any mercy for an american who gets in trouble over there...thank you,stupud as texas!!!!

    January 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  2. Cynthia H

    WTF is this? A Mexican national murders a police officer and poor him?! He received appeals and free lawyers for a most egregious offense and the reporting is– his rights were violated? What is wrong with all of you? A police officer was shot in the back of the head three times but you are worried about International Law? You are a disgrace to your alledged profession or what is left of it anyway. The media is a joke. Do you think an American would have received the amount of due process in ANY ohter country?! NO!

    January 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  3. Down in Mississippi

    An American citizen charged with murder in Texas or any other state has the right to advance all defenses and to pursue all appeals available under applicable state and federal law. Yet a foreign national, in the US illegally in the first place, asserts through counsel that he should have all defenses a US citizen defendant enjoys, PLUS another defense if he doesn't receive some putative treaty accomodation. Regardless of how one feels about the death penalty, it seems odd indeed that an alien here illegally should get more rights than an American national charged here with the same crime. This should raise equal protection issues if one defendant gets special accomodations unavailable to others.

    January 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  4. Duude

    I respect the state of Texas for having followed the rule of state law no matter what the feds or another nation may say. You want to kill police officers and still live out your life in prision? Stay in Mexico.

    January 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  5. emiguel

    well if the US can so openly have a spying program that violates every law on the book included the constitution, they can also execute an innocent person hands down... no questions asked

    January 23, 2014 at 11:53 am | Reply
  6. jessie

    So is Michael Maurice Dupree going to be executed – for the 2009 killing of Paul Marshal, 72, in Van Zandt County, Texas?
    Since Perry Spokeswoman said It doesn’t matter where you’re from — if you commit a despicable crime like this in Texas, you are subject to their state laws, including a fair trial by jury and the ultimate penalty?

    January 23, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
  7. Rocky Warren

    An "International court" with no jurisdiction in the U.S conjured up the "consular advisement requirement" out of thin air in 2004. No one disputes Tomayo murdered the officer in cold blood and he's now executed as Texas law mandated! Sec. State Kerry needs to quit whining and should have taken the attitude, "The next murdering cartel trigger puller may have reason to hesitate while in the U.S. and especially in the Lone Star State!" Of course, a position of strength is known to be anathema to both Kerry and his boss!

    January 23, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply

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