Leal is scheduled to face lethal injection today, Thursday, July 7th in Texas for the 1994 rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda.
But the Obama administration said Wednesday; the execution could put the United States in breach of international obligations and urged the Supreme Court to halt the execution.
Leal was provided with an attorney after his arrest but never was informed that he could have access to Mexican consular officials, as is required under the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
In 2009, the International Court of Justice ruled that the United States had failed to meet its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the cases of 51 Mexicans awaiting execution, including Leal.
The breach of international obligations would “have serious repercussions for United States foreign relations, law-enforcement and other cooperation with Mexico, and the ability of American citizens traveling abroad to have the benefits of consular assistance in the event of detention,” Solicitor General Donald B.Verrilli Jr. wrote in an amicus brief filed with the court.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected Leal’s request for a stay so his fate now hangs in balance with the Supreme Court.