Tamayo’s Execution puts Missionaries Everywhere in Danger

Rick Perry Edgar Tamayo

Edgar Tamayo Arias is set to be executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, January 22. Here’s the background from Heather Beaudoin at Equal Justice USA:

Tamayo, a Mexican National, was convicted ten years ago of killing a police officer, but was never notified of his right to contact his consulate in Mexico. Consequently, evidence of his mental retardation, brain damage, and the fact that he spoke almost no English were never brought up at his trial. If these facts had been brought up, there’s a good chance that he would be serving life in prison instead of facing the death penalty.”

Tamayo’s execution would not only violate his rights protected under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a treaty that protects Americans abroad as well as foreign nationals within the United States, but it would jeopardize the security of thousands of Americans serving as Christian missionaries around the world. Even Secretary of State John Kerry is worried about the implications. In September Sec. Kerry sent unprecedented letters to Texas Governor, Rick Perry, and Attorney General Greg Abbott:

Mr. Tamayo’s case directly impacts U.S. foreign relations as well as our country’s ability to provide consular assistance to U.S. citizens overseas.”

Worldwide, Christian persecution nearly doubled in 2013 as compared to 2012, according to a report from Open Doors. Worldwide 2,123 Christians were “martyred” for their faith in 2013, while 1,201 were killed in 2012. If Secretary Kerry, and others, are correct, then the execution of Tamayo on January 22 could lead to increased difficulty providing assistance to U.S. citizens overseas and possibly even increases in Christian missionary deaths in 2014.

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Please join RLC in urging Governor Perry to ensure Mr. Tamayo receives a fair trial. Such a trial brings justice to Mr. Tamayo and help protect U.S. missionaries across the globe.

For more information:
Read the Press Release
Contact Governor Perry’s Office
Contact Attorney General Abbott’s Office




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  • http://www.josiahsprague.com/ Josiah Sprague

    This article doesn’t really make it clear why Christian missionaries are in danger.

    • Andrew

      Arias was a foreign national abroad who was detained and charged for a crime while being denied the internationally recognized rights to contact his consulate. Many Americans abroad find themselves in similar situations, and it could only hurt their chances to exercise their rights if their own country has set a precedent of denying them to foreign citizens.

      • dudleysharp

        Andrew:

        There have been a few other executions, as with Tamayo, is there any evidence that an arresting authority failed to say “Hey, you can contact your consulate, if you wish”, because of those prior executions?

        Don’t get me wrong, I want that said to the arrested party, but I am unaware of any country that has decided to violate the VC because of those executions.

  • krazee dave

    This person shot a young cop 3 times in the head as an illegal alien committing robbery. Not sure a lack of grasp on English language or mental issues covers this. Its not like he was being harrased or defending himself. Also pretty sure if I snuck into most any foreign country then robbed and murdered a policeman in the act I would not be getting deported to be tried in my homeland. Merely sneaking into mexico gets you 5 years

    • jim

      Thank you Dave for bringing light to the story. As the old saying goes, “very rarely are things the way they appear to be”.

      To insinuate that this situation could further endanger Christian missionaries is just speculation and opinion.

  • SamHamilton

    The link to Equal Justice USA does not take us to anything written by Heather Beaudoin or anything specific about this case.

  • tim

    “If Secretary Kerry, and others, are correct . . ” That would be a big if.

  • That

    As a God-fearing Christian, just let me say on behalf of Edgar Tamayo: WWWWAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! Fry, baby fry. Say ‘hello’ to Satan when you arrive in HELL.

  • dudleysharp

    See the Note to Officer Gaddis, at bottom, from the daughter who never knew her father.

    “Sharp: Vienna Convention missteps should not change outcome for Tamayo”
    Dudley Sharp
    OP/ED, Austin American Statesman
    Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014

    Houston Police Officer Guy Gaddis was murdered by robber Edgar Tamayo, who shot officer Gaddis three times in the back of the head, with a weapon that the officer had missed during his pat down of Tamayo, a Mexican national, with prior prison time in California for robbery. He was paroled, early.

    Tamayo had abandoned Mexico to pursue a criminal career in the US.

    Officer Gaddis was 24 years old, had been an active duty Houston Police Officer for 15 months and had, previously, honorably served in the Military Police, US Army.

    Tamayo was sentenced to death for Officer Gaddis’ murder. His execution date is January 22, 2014.

    Some find that the execution date should be delayed because of the US violation of Tamayo’s rights under the Vienna Convention (VC).

    They are wrong.

    The VC, an international treaty, says that a person detained in a foreign country has the right to be informed that they may contact their consulate.

    In other words, the police did not tell Tomayo, “you can contact the Mexican Consulate, if you wish.”

    This treaty was violated and has been, countless times in the US, as with many other countries throughout the world. That is no excuse, just reality.

    Absent that notification, Tamayo or his counsel could have contacted the Mexican Consulate, at any time, had they seen fit to do so. They didn’t.

    All concede that the treaty was violated. The issue is: What is the remedy?

    The US Supreme Court has ruled that any violation of the VC cannot be used to suppress evidence in a case and that the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), against the US, with regard to the VC, that the US give “review and reconsideration” of these cases was NOT binding domestic law.

    Even so, Tamayo was given extraordinary due process protections.

    The ICJ concluded that the remedy for this violation was that the US, “by means of its own choosing” should provide review of such cases in light of its obligations under the VC.

    Texas has fulfilled her obligations. She has chosen to offer super due process protections to a murderous foreign national and nothing more.

    Further VC considerations have been barred because of time limitations on originating the appeal or not preserving it at trial, properly, or that the VC issue resulted in harmless error, meaning that neither the sentence nor the verdict would have changed, had the VC been properly administered.

    Many appellate claims for US citizens are denied in US courts for the exact same reasons.
    Now its time that Tamayo pays his price.

    It must be noted that the Introduction, paragraph 6 of the VC states: “Realizing that the purpose of such privileges and immunities IS NOT TO BENEFIT INDIVIDUALS (my emphasis) but to ensure the efficient performance of functions by consular posts on behalf of their respective States”.

    The VC states that it is not to benefit individuals. One wonders how the ICJ overlooked that.

    Some perspective:

    Officer Gaddis was survived by his pregnant wife, Rosa, his parents, Edwin and Gayle Gaddis, brother Glenn, his wife Angela; brother Gary and nephew Justyn Gaddis, other relatives and endless friends and colleagues

    Below is a letter from Stephanie Gaddis – a letter to the dad she never met.

    Hi Dad,
    All these people have such beautiful things to say about you. I wish I got the chance to meet you. I might not be able to say I miss you, but I can say I love you with everything that I am. I love hearing stories about you. Everyone says I remind them of you, I have your eyes. I have dreams about you all the time, those are my favorite dreams. I hope you’re looking down on me, and proud of the daughter you created. Houston made this beautiful memorial for you it was on the news a few months back. You were a very honorable man, and I can tell that you were such a beautiful person. I look at pictures of you all the time, you always had a smile on your face. Whenever I’m having a bad day I like to talk to you, because I know you’re always listening to me. I know I can overcome anything, because you’re are always by my side protecting me. I love you so much daddy, and thank you for everything.

    Love your daughter,
    Stephanie Gaddis
    March 22, 2013

    Officer Guy Gaddis, end of watch, January 31, 1994

    Dudley Sharp, A Houston based death penalty expert and victims’ rights advocate

  • dudleysharp

    The death of missionaries has absolutely nothing to do with the Vienna Convention.

    The Vienna Convention is “Hey, you’re under arrest, you can call your consulate, if you wish”.

  • dudleysharp

    Tamayo’s crime

    See the Note to Officer Gaddis, at bottom, from the daughter who never knew her father.

    “Sharp: Vienna Convention missteps should not change outcome for Tamayo”
    Dudley Sharp
    OP/ED, Austin American Statesman
    Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014

    Houston Police Officer Guy Gaddis was murdered by robber Edgar Tamayo, who shot officer Gaddis three times in the back of the head, with a weapon that the officer had missed during his pat down of Tamayo, a Mexican national, with prior prison time in California for robbery. He was paroled, early.

    Tamayo had abandoned Mexico to pursue a criminal career in the US.

    Officer Gaddis was 24 years old, had been an active duty Houston Police Officer for 15 months and had, previously, honorably served in the Military Police, US Army.

    Tamayo was sentenced to death for Officer Gaddis’ murder. His execution date is January 22, 2014.

    Some find that the execution date should be delayed because of the US violation of Tamayo’s rights under the Vienna Convention (VC).

    They are wrong.

    The VC, an international treaty, says that a person detained in a foreign country has the right to be informed that they may contact their consulate.

    In other words, the police did not tell Tomayo, “you can contact the Mexican Consulate, if you wish.”

    This treaty was violated and has been, countless times in the US, as with many other countries throughout the world. That is no excuse, just reality.

    Absent that notification, Tamayo or his counsel could have contacted the Mexican Consulate, at any time, had they seen fit to do so. They didn’t.

    All concede that the treaty was violated. The issue is: What is the remedy?

    The US Supreme Court has ruled that any violation of the VC cannot be used to suppress evidence in a case and that the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), against the US, with regard to the VC, that the US give “review and reconsideration” of these cases was NOT binding domestic law.

    Even so, Tamayo was given extraordinary due process protections.

    The ICJ concluded that the remedy for this violation was that the US, “by means of its own choosing” should provide review of such cases in light of its obligations under the VC.

    Texas has fulfilled her obligations. She has chosen to offer super due process protections to a murderous foreign national and nothing more.

    Further VC considerations have been barred because of time limitations on originating the appeal or not preserving it at trial, properly, or that the VC issue resulted in harmless error, meaning that neither the sentence nor the verdict would have changed, had the VC been properly administered.

    Many appellate claims for US citizens are denied in US courts for the exact same reasons.
    Now its time that Tamayo pays his price.

    It must be noted that the Introduction, paragraph 6 of the VC states: “Realizing that the purpose of such privileges and immunities IS NOT TO BENEFIT INDIVIDUALS (my emphasis) but to ensure the efficient performance of functions by consular posts on behalf of their respective States”.

    The VC states that it is not to benefit individuals. One wonders how the ICJ overlooked that.

    Some perspective:

    Officer Gaddis was survived by his pregnant wife, Rosa, his parents, Edwin and Gayle Gaddis, brother Glenn, his wife Angela; brother Gary and nephew Justyn Gaddis, other relatives and endless friends and colleagues

    Below is a letter from Stephanie Gaddis – a letter to the dad she never met.

    Hi Dad,
    All these people have such beautiful things to say about you. I wish I got the chance to meet you. I might not be able to say I miss you, but I can say I love you with everything that I am. I love hearing stories about you. Everyone says I remind them of you, I have your eyes. I have dreams about you all the time, those are my favorite dreams. I hope you’re looking down on me, and proud of the daughter you created. Houston made this beautiful memorial for you it was on the news a few months back. You were a very honorable man, and I can tell that you were such a beautiful person. I look at pictures of you all the time, you always had a smile on your face. Whenever I’m having a bad day I like to talk to you, because I know you’re always listening to me. I know I can overcome anything, because you’re are always by my side protecting me. I love you so much daddy, and thank you for everything.

    Love your daughter,
    Stephanie Gaddis
    March 22, 2013

    Officer Guy Gaddis, end of watch, January 31, 1994

    Dudley Sharp, A Houston based death penalty expert and victims’ rights advocate

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