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Cardenas was a Mexican citizen. According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), the Edinburg police were obligated to notify the Mexican consulate that he had been arrested, but they did not do so. During his appeals, Cardenas's lawyers raised a claim that his trial counsel was deficient for failing to raise the VCCR issue. State and federal courts consistently held that since Congress has never passed legislation incorporating the VCCR into domestic law, there are no judicially enforceable post-conviction remedies for alleged violations of it.
The Mexican government unsuccessfully lobbied to stop Cardenas's execution, which was delayed for about for hours as the U.S. Supreme Court considered his last-ditch appeals.
Cardenas did not make an oral last statement at his execution. Instead, he gave prison officials a written statement thanking his family, friends, attorneys, and the Mexican government for their support. "Now!" his statement read in closing, "I will not and cannot apologize for someone else's crime, but I will be back for justice! You can count on that! Thank you. With Respect Ruben Cardenas." The lethal injection was administered, and he was pronounced dead at 10:26 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 16 November 2017.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Huntsville Item.