TX - Elizabeth Pena, 16, & Jennifer Ertman, 14, slain, Houston, 24 June 1993

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by Texana, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Here's the story:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5922356.html

    Basic recap: In 1996, two teenage girls, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, were coming home around 11 p.m. and cut through a park to get home sooner for curfew. They ran into a drunken gang initiation. Both girls were raped, sodomized, strangled, and then stomped to death. Their bodies were found four days later (in summer) when a brother of one of the gang members ratted the others out.

    One participant, Derick O'Brien, has already been executed for his part. Another had his crime commuted to a life sentence when the Supreme Court ruled that he committed the crime as a juvenile and could not be executed.

    The third (the others have life sentences) is set for execution Tuesday night. Jose Medellin, the leader, has been in the United States since he was 3 years old. He says he told LE that he was a Mexican national (here illegally, by the way) and they did not tell him he could access the Mexican consulate. The prosecutors deny that Medellin said this at all.

    Medellin waived his Miranda rights and made a full confession when arrested. He has never expressed remorse for his acts, calling them an "adolescent choice." He speaks of himself as a "good guy" on a Canadian anti-death penalty website. He bragged that both girls were virgins when raped, after the crime.

    One anti-death penalty opponent stated that after meeting with Medellin, she recanted her position based on his attitude.

    His parents have been forbidden to visit him since 2001 when they were caught planning an escape plan for him.

    The Mexican government has pushed for Medellin to have a retrial and hearing based on the issue of his being denied consulate help. The trial was extremely well-publicized and as a side note, the Mexican consulate was well aware of the crime and trial, and could easily have contaced Medellin at the time to offer assistance if he was indeed a national. They did not, at the time.

    The World Court at the Hague ruled that Texas does not have the right to execute Medellin. President Bush asked that there be a new hearing. The Supreme Court ruled that President Bush/Executive branch of the government lacked the authority to ask that Texas follow the treaties involved, and so the execution was legal. (Congress only has the ability to enforce treaties.)

    Personally? My oldest was 4 when the crime happened. I remember the searches and the agony when they were found. Now she is the same age as the victimes, and I cannot imagine such agony happening to any teenage girl. My heart has never stopped breaking for these girls. This is the first case where I truly have considered driving to Huntsville in support of the families. Unfortunately, we're getting Tropical Storm Edouard tomorrow.

    Bottom line, Medellin is not sorry, has remorse only for himself, and deserves an execution more than many another person. At least the other participant already executed repeatedly said he was sorry. Medellin never has.

    Mods, maybe this should be in Crimes in the News. Sorry!!!!
     
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  3. michelle

    michelle Joy comes in the Morning

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    How horrible, I say get it over with now!
     
  4. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    You and at least 700 other residents of Texas, not counting the ones who haven't expressed it online yet. That would be in the thousands and ten thousands.

    It has been years and I still cannot think of these girls without my heart breaking. One of them was thrown to the ground by Medellin and she screamed...the other one went back to help her friend.

    By the time they were found, they were identified via dental records.

    Medellin deserves no mercy and not one single minute longer of breathing the air on this earth.

    And as a side note to those who are anti-death penalty, his parents were actively trying to help him escape. So much for life without parole as a safe alternative.
     
  5. pixies

    pixies Former Member

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    Hmm, You would think his entire family would be here illegally so I hope they tracked them down also and deported them.

    Execute him! He deserves no mercy.
     
  6. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I am anti-DP all the way, but I think TX surely does have the authority to carry out such a sentence on this man. Thank Goodness for the Supreme Court.
     
  7. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Yes, I'm by no means a rabid States' Righter but the issues were clearly settled by the Texas appellate court and then the Supreme Court. Basically, having access to the Mexican Consulate would not have affected the outcome of the trial--he not only confessed, he bragged about it.

    I can see where the issue of only being an adolescent gang member would have some significance, but the time in prison doesn't seem to have taught Medellin any wisdom. He seems to think that the anti-death philosophy in and of itself is enough for him--he doesn't have to show remorse, take responsibility, or in any way show he understands the depth of his crimes. He just gets to live because it's wrong to take a life, particularly HIS.

    The irony and sheer gall of that--appalling.

    And for the Mexican government to intervene so heavy-handed on behalf of an illegal immigrant to the U.S. who committed a truly horrific crime--Some friendly government. We'd be better off with Thailand as neighbors.
     
  8. Cecil Wingo

    Cecil Wingo New Member

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    Am not pro nor con death penalty. There are minds in this world that cannot be controlled otherwise. We risk enough putting sexual predators on probation "hoping" they will not strike again. The no compunction mentality has no purpose in life, without ending theirs there is a continuing potential for the deaths of others from this mindset. His wiring is different, he cannot be rewired, he can only be shorted out by law or by natural causes. In the entirity of that predators life , wherever he may be, he remains a threat to kill, escape and kill, escape and remain killing for many years to come.

    What do we do with pit bulls who attack and then attack the rescuer's. Cruel as it may sound, there is no difference in the mindset of the attack by pit bulls and this instant predator. Human yes he is, but in form only. Why does he exist? I do not know but his existence is a horror waiting for some innocent person on this earth. It is only a matter of his walking around, entering into a setting that matches the mental template in his wrongly wired brain and he acts, without thought, without compunction, he is a predator as true and functional as the wolf hunting for food, the wolf hunts for survival though. The human predator hunts for pleasure.
     
  9. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Cecil (love your w/s name) you are so right. Medellin is a classic example of a human that will forever be a danger to others--as evidenced by his lack of remorse and his parents' attempts to have him escape.

    I have a teaching colleague who has a great phrase used very rarely but meant very sincerely--"Broke and can't be fixed."

    Medellin was only a few years older than his victims, and yet he had not a bit of hesitation in brutalizing and then killing them.

    Medellin stands out among Texas Death Row inmates, right up there with:

    http://www.txexecutions.org/reports/283.asp

    and

    http://www.txexecutions.org/reports/306.asp

    I hope Medellin makes peace with his maker, or whatever his beliefs, if any, require before death. However, I'm sure he's still confident in his arrogance that he'll get a reprieve. I hope he feels the same sense of horror and dread that his victims, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, did.
     
  10. kline

    kline New Member

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    I can understand being opposed to the death penalty in the abstract or in principal.
    But when opponents get emotionally invested and start lending support to some of these monsters individually in essence lobbying behalf of rapists and murderers who are clearly guilty...they lose me real quick.
    This guy needs to be smoked the sooner the better.
     
  11. LinetteH

    LinetteH Loving life in Colorado

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    I often think of these girls and the way they suffered. That any of these boys only got life in prison is nauseating!!! This was one of the most heinous crimes, I hope he enjoys hell.
     
  12. kato

    kato New Member

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    I remember well when that happened. Fry his *ss already!!!
     
  13. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    I love this from the link in the first post on this thread:
    Jennifer's father, Randy Ertman, dismissed international opposition to the execution.

    "It's just a last-ditch effort to keep the ******* breathing," Ertman said. "He never should have been breathing in the first place. I don't care, I really don't care what anyone thinks about this except Texas. I love Texas. Texas is in my blood."
     
  14. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth Active Member

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    I'm pro death penalty. It was enacted for people (and I use the term loosely, he's a demon) just like this.

    The only problem I have with the death penalty is that it's too easy. Lay down, get a needle in the arm and off to sleep you go. I think they should be taken out the same way that their victims were.

    I know some will say then that makes us no better than they are; I disagree. These young girls weren't hurting anyone. They were on their way home (probably really good girls too since they were rushing to make curfew) and these *astards did this to them. An eye for an eye.
     
  15. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    About 8 more hours, I figure, and then he's off the planet.

    He's getting so much an easier death than those girls did--I hope he's terrified of the hereafter.
     
  16. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Latest update:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/5924476.html

    One of Medellin's lawyers says his execution will put "thousands of Americans abroad at risk."

    Unbelievable.

    On the other hand, his execution removes from risk many other Americans, including those who had to guard him while he attempted escape attempts. Hmm. Tough call.

    Not.
     
  17. lorelei

    lorelei New Member

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    I really hope they don't execute this guy. I'm not generally in favor of the death penalty but even I think Medellin completely deserves it.
    But this is really a matter of international law, and obeying the treaties that we signed up for. We were supposed to give him access to the Mexican consulate and didn't. As much as I hate to agree with this scumbags lawyers I really think it very well could put a lot of Americans abroad at risk. There are so many countries/govts that would love to ignore the right to consular access and keep people in jail forever without giving them access to legal help when they're arrested overseas. The US breaking this treaty would only encourage them.

    I expect they probably will execute him tonight- currently its delayed waiting for Supreme Court decision on his appeal, but I don't think there is much the Supreme Court can/will do at this point. But its a terrible idea IMO.
     
  18. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Lorelei, he wasn't denied access. He didn't ask for it. He didn't even bring up his citizenship until four years after the trial.

    He waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the killing to LE, as well as bragged about them before being arrested, and there were multiple accounts from other gang members not only of his involvement, but his leadership.

    Basically, having the Mexican consulate involved from the get go would not have changed the outcome of the trial. The Mexican consulate was well aware of the trial, and of the possibility that Medellin would get the death penalty. They knew very well there was a good chance he was illegal immigrant status, and yet...they did nothing.

    There has not been a single bit of coverage overseas or in the international media over this. Nobody wants Medellin as the poster boy for international treaty compliance.

    The only people protesting are anti-death penalty advocates and the Mexican government--but again, as an expression of being anti-death penalty.

    Truly, this is not going to make a difference if you get in trouble overseas and need our Consulate. Our consulates are not the best at helping overseas American citizens as it is--to put it mildly. If you're busted carrying heroin in Thailand, this is not going to make one bit of difference. It is, believe me, not even on the radar for the international community. Somebody with true guilt/innocence issues in a something like a convenience store robbery? Possibly. Raping, sodomizing, and stomping to death two teenage girls? No way.

    The Supreme Court has denied his last minute appeal and he is scheduled for execution tonight.
     
  19. lorelei

    lorelei New Member

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    I saw the denial of the appeal, not really a surprise (or any great loss to society). There was a lot of coverage of this overseas though, I just checked google for an update and the top stories read- Agence France Presse, Times of India, USA Today, Al Jazeera, Radio Netherlands... Not sure how they figure out which stories are 'top' of the list, but it definitely has been covered a decent amount because the International Court of Justice ruled that his execution should not go forward.


    Maybe I'm misunderstanding the treaty? I thought that the signatories were supposed to inform people of their right to consular access, not the other way around? I think the INS' regulations say they have to give consulate notification in 72 hrs when foreign citizens are detained. How they could have done an entire death penalty trial without figuring out this guy was a Mexican citizen is beyond me. Don't they do any research on their defendants?

    I'm not really concerned about whether or not Medellin lives or dies, just the laws- which I don't think were followed. This guy was guilty and I agree with you that the consulate wouldn't have made a difference in his case. Its the principle of it that irritates me, just to be clear. They could drop this one in boiling oil for all I care as long as he had all the rights he was entitled to beforehand.:)
     
  20. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    The citizen of the foreign country has to ask for the consulate help. Medellin did not.

    He had been in the United States/Texas since he was 3 years old, had attended Texan schools from preschool through high school.

    There was huge, huge pressure on prosecutors and law enforcement for decades in places with high immigrant population such as Houston, to not ask about immigrant status.

    Medellin simply picked the country of citizenship he thought would benefit him most, and then he tried to switch again. It was a last ditch effort to grasp at straws to save himself.

    As for going through an entire death penalty trial without knowing his citizenship status for certain, again, in the 90's, there was very, very little emphasis on enforcing immigration laws. Houston, while not overtly a sanctuary city, was more than friendly to illegal immigrants. They brought cheap labor for businesses and rent for overbuilt apartments that sat empty as a result of the oil bust.

    It was simply not an issue, because as an American citizen, Medellin would have been assumed to have more protection, rather than less. And again, the Mexican Consulate was well aware of the high-profile trial. They could have sent one low-level employee over to interview Medellin in Harris County jail while awaiting trial, but they did not. They wanted no part of Medellin, confessed gang member and killer.

    They did not want to draw attention at the time to illegal immigrant crime.

    This is not going to put Americans abroad at risk, but it might make Americans safer in their own country, if illegal immigrants and others consider that they might be executed regardless, before they kill.
     
  21. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    And as a sorry final note, Medellin in his last words did not make a full apology, choosing instead to go with the "I'm sorry if my actions brought you pain. I hope this brings you the closure..."

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5924476.html

    I'm sorry IF? What a colossal beast to the end.
     

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