Medellin was a Mexican
national, convicted of murder in Texas and facing the death penalty.
At the time of his arrest he
was not warned that he had a right to contact the Mexican Embassy.
Under the Vienna
Convention on Consular Rights 36(1)(b),
foreign nationals have a right to contact their embassy when arrested.
The US was a party to the
The Texas State Court found
that Medellin could not raise the issue of the Vienna Convention on appeal because he did not raise it at
After exhausting his appeals
in Texas courts, Medellin filed a writ of habeus corpus in Federal Court
raising the Vienna Convention
The Trial Court denied the
claim. He appealed.
The Appellate Court denied the
claim, He appealed.
The Appellate Court found
that the Vienna Convention did
not create an individually enforceable right.
Before the case could be heard
by the US Supreme Court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found
that the US had violated the individually enforceable rights guaranteed by
the Vienna Convention and must
reconsider the convictions.
President Bush issued a memo
requiring the US to follow the ICJ's ruling by having State courts review
the Mexicans' cases.
The US Supreme Court sent the
case back to Texas State Court.
Citing the memo and the ICJ
ruling, The US Supreme Court found that Medellin had not exhausted his
State Court appeals and sent the case back to Texas State Court.
The Texas State Courts
affirmed. Medellin appealed.
The US Supreme Court affirmed.
The US Supreme Court found
that the Vienna Convention is not
a self-executing agreement, and congress has not passed the
necessary legislation that would require Texas in its procedures to
review Medellin's conviction.
Despite the fact that the Restatement
of Foreign Relations Law §§1111.3-4
states that international agreements should be considered self-executing
unless the agreement "manifests an intention" that it requires