A Mexican citizen was executed Wednesday night in Texas for the sledgehammer deaths of his wife and two children in 1992.
Robert Moreno Ramos, 64, died at 9:36 p.m.,11 minutes after being injected with powerful sedative pentobarbital, The Monitor newspaper reported from Huntsville penitentiary.
Ramos was the state’s 11th execution this year and the 21st in the United States.
His attorney, Danalynn Recer filed a stay of execution to the U.S. Supreme Court hours before the execution scheduled for 6 p.m. The plea was denied shortly before 9 p.m.
Recer described Ramos as a “severely mentally ill, brain damaged and horrifically abused young man” who didn’t receive sufficient legal guidance, in a news release.
“The death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the ‘worst of the worst’ murders and the ‘worst of the worst’ murderers,” Death Penalty Information Center executive director Robert Dumham posted on Twitter. “This case was the ‘worst of the worst’ in another way — it represents the worst of the worst legal process.”
Ramos was found guilty and sentenced to death in March 1993.
“Justice had been delayed in this case for over two decades,” the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office in a statement late Wednesday. “We hope that the sentence brings peace to the family of the victims.”
Ramos was convicted for the February 1992 killings of his wife, Leticia, 42, and their two children, Abigail, 7, and Jonathon, 3.
Ramos beat the family members with a miniature sledgehammer and buried them under their Progreso home, according to trial evidence.
Ramos was arrested after he was picked up on a traffic warrant.
“I am very thankful for all the hard work the Mexican consulate put in a fight over my death sentence if there was a reason or not,” he said before being injected. “I am thankful for the humane treatment that I was given here at the two prisons that I was at. I am getting my gold watch that it took the governor 30 years to forge. Thank you God, Lord send me a chariot. I’m ready.”
According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, when an immigrant is arrested and held in detention, he has the right for the consulate to be notified so that the government can provide legal representation.
“Any death sentence carried out in contravention of a government’s international obligations amounts to an arbitrary execution,” the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said in a statement. “We call for his death sentence to be annulled and for Mr. Ramos Moreno to be re-tried in compliance with due process and international fair trial standards.”
In 2003, the Mexican government combinedd his case against the United States with more than 50 other Mexican immigrants sentenced to death without consulate-sponsored representation. The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, determined in 2004 that the U.S. government had violated the treaty.
TheTexas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed his appeal and the Supreme Court denied a review of the decision.
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