“Viva Mexico!  Viva Mexico!”  As he spoke those words, murderer and rapist Humberto Leal felt the gush of pentobarbital run into his arm.

Like the late, lamented Mexican hero José Ernesto Medellín, whom Texas executed in 2008, Leal and his legal backers, including the Mexican government, argued that his guilty verdict was null.  The Vienna Convention of 1963, you see, requires access to consular officials “without delay” when foreign nationals are arrested.  Police did not permit such access for the “Mexican national,” which is what “undocumented immigrants” become when they face the death penalty.  George W. Bush went to bat for Medellín; Obama went to bat for Leal.

Leal’s crime was just as brutal as Medellín’s.  Adria Sauceda was 16 in 1994 when she went to a party, got drunk, and used marijuana and cocaine.  She was gang-raped, then Leal showed up, claimed he knew her, and said he would take her home.  Sometime later, Leal’s brother arrived at the party in hysterics and said that Leal had returned home covered with blood, claiming he had killed a girl.  According to ProDeathPenalty.com, partygoers “found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road.  They noticed Adria’s head had been bashed in and it was bleeding.  Her head was flinching or jerking.  These party members called the police.  When the police arrived, they saw the nude victim lying on her back.  There was a 30 to 40 pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of Adria’s skull lying partially on Adria’s left arm.  Blood was underneath this rock.  A smaller rock with blood on it was located near Adria’s right thigh.  There was a gaping hole from the corner of Adria’s right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing.  Adria’s head was splattered with blood.  There was a bloody and broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from Adria’s [private parts].  Another 4 to 5 inch piece of the stick was lying to the left side of Adria’s skull.”

Leal eventually confessed, and then the handwringing began.  An anti-death-penalty nun posed for a photo with Leal.  She beams with pride.  SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, claimed that, because a priest had allegedly raped him, Leal must be spared so he could help build a case against the priest.  Thus, SNAP implicitly claimed that a priest’s molestation of Leal mitigated Leal’s rape of Sauceda.  No matter.  The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “the prosecution’s evidence at the guilt phase of Leal’s trial was overwhelming.”

So like Medellín, Leal became a cause célèbee for the crackpot left.  The problem for Obama and friends was this: The U.S. Supreme Court settled the matter in 2008 in the Medellín case.  Chronicles readers will remember this estimable character, who  participated in the gang rape and murder of two girls in 1993.  Medellín and his pals repeatedly raped the girls, then strangled them with a belt and shoelace.  Medellín’s guilt aside, the Supreme Court said that Congress had not enacted appropriate legislation to impose the Vienna Convention upon the states, which, in turn, are not bound by decisions of the International Court of Justice.  The ICJ had ruled the United States must reconsider the cases of Medellín and 51 other Mexican defendants who did not receive consular advice.  No matter.  Texas was free to execute Medellín.  And so it did.

Obama’s case for not executing Leal was identical to Bush’s on behalf of Medellín.  It rested on two grounds.  The first was the failed Vienna Convention argument.  That left a second, practical one: Executing feral murderers and rapists will invite legal reprisal against Americans abroad.  That is, of course, preposterous.  Are foreign governments going to arrest American citizens for no reason, or deny them consular contact, because the United States executes murderers and rapists who are foreign nationals?  Not likely, as the case of Amanda Knox suggests.  In 2007, as Medellín’s case wound through the courts, Knox was arrested in Italy for murder and received consular support.

Just as he refused to delay Medellín’s execution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry ignored entreaties to save Leal.  Strapped to a gurney on July 7, Leal cried out for Mexico’s long life.  Then he spoke his last words: “Ready warden.  Let’s get this show on the road.”

Adria Sauceda’s family has been saying that for 17 years.