White House seeks delay of Mexican man's execution

July 7, 2011 - 12:44 PM
Texas Execution

This undated handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Humberto Leal. State lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court that appeals to halt this week's scheduled execution of the Mexican national for the 1994 rape-slaying of a 16-year-old San Antonio girl are without merit. Leal faces lethal injection Thursday in Huntsville,Texas. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to block a Mexican man's execution in Texas, set to take place within hours. The White House has pleaded for a stay in the case where Texas justice is clashing with international treaty rights.

Humberto Leal is set to die in Huntsville for the 1994 rape-slaying of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda, of San Antonio. Appeals for the 38-year-old Leal are focused on what it could mean for other foreigners arrested in the U.S. and for Americans detained in other countries.

Leal moved with his family from Mexico to the U.S. as a toddler. He contends police never told him he could seek legal assistance from the Mexican government under an international treaty, and that such assistance would have helped his defense.