Texas and Florida due to execute men for 1990s murders

(Reuters) – Two states are scheduled to execute convicted murderers on Wednesday night, one who would be the third executed in Florida since August and one whose planned execution in Texas has raised the ire of Mexican officials and two United Nations experts.

Ruben Cardenas, 47, a Mexican national, was convicted of the February 1997 kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Mayra Laguna, in south Texas. He told investigators he was high on cocaine at the time.

The Cardenas case has drawn protests from Mexican diplomats, who have said Texas prosecutors did not follow due process and did not let Cardenas speak with Mexican consular officials.

The Mexican Senate has urged Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to ask Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. President Donald Trump to order a retrial.

Abbott’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Wednesday. Pena Nieto has not publicly commented on the demand by the Mexican Senate.

Marcela Guerra, a senator in the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who heads the Mexican Senate’s committee on North American relations, has asked Abbott to intercede, saying Cardenas’ rights had been violated.

Guerra said there was “strong evidence” Cardenas “could have made a false confession under duress, which is completely illegal and illegitimate.”

Two human rights experts who advise the United Nations said in a statement issued from Geneva this week that if Texas executed Cardenas, “the U.S. Government will have implemented a death penalty without complying with international human rights standards.” http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22360&LangID=E

In Florida, 53-year-old Patrick Hannon is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection.

Hannon was convicted in the January 1991 murders of two men, Brandon Snider and Robert Carter, who shared a Tampa apartment where they were killed.

Hannon has lost several appeals with the Florida Supreme Court and in U.S. district…

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