Blog Posts: Debolina Das

Debolina Das

Sneak Preview: State v. Gutierrez: International Law Gets Its Day in [State] Court

Carlos Gutierrez (Gutierrez) spent a year abusing Mailin Stafford (Mailin), his three-year-old stepdaughter, for sucking on her thumbs. He subjected her to frequent beatings and spankings, forced her to eat chili peppers and Tabasco sauce and threw her into freezing cold showers until she began to drown or turn blue. On June 15, 2004, Gutierrez punched her in the stomach one last time before she crawled onto his lap and died. A three-judge panel sentenced Gutierrez to death.

On his first appeal, Gutierrez’s death sentence was affirmed. He then filed a second appeal, seeking a post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which the Second Judicial District Court of Nevada dismissed on procedural grounds. On appeal, Gutierrez argued that he suffered actual prejudice because the United States failed to inform him of his right to consular assistance, which was in violation of Article 36(1)(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Vienna Convention). Mexico had previously filed suit against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for denying Carlos Avena Guillen and numerous other Mexican nationals their right to consular access under the Vienna Convention. In Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Avena), the ICJ found the United States had violated its international legal obligations under the Vienna Convention by failing to notify the Mexican nationals of their consular rights. The ICJ directed the United States to reassess the convictions of Avena and the other Mexican nationals.

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No Comments | Posted by Debolina Das on Mon. November 4, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: International Human Rights

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