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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2014 — As Texas prepares to execute Edgar Tamayo on Jan. 22, American Bar Association President James R. Silkenat issued a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott urging his office to support further judicial review of Tamayo’s case.
Tamayo, a Mexican national, was not advised by Texas authorities following his arrest of his right to seek consular assistance as guaranteed by United States ratification of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The violation of Tamayo’s right to consular assistance may have undermined the fairness of his capital trial and sentencing.
Further, Tamayo suffers from two recognized mental disorders stemming from a head injury that affect his ability to control impulses and regulate aggressive behavior. Testing has determined that Tamayo has an IQ of approximately 67 and major limitations in adaptive functioning.
“This is precisely the kind of pivotal mitigating evidence that must be presented to a capital jury, without which no death penalty trial can meet minimal standards of fairness,” Silkenat wrote.
The ABA takes no stance on the advisability of the death penalty per se, but it does oppose the imposition of capital punishment on the severely mentally ill.
ABA President Silkenat’s letter to Attorney General Abbott is available here.
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