Perry faced intense pressure to pardon Leal because of his Mexican citizenship. Fortunately, he was unswayed by the argument that a foreign national should receive special treatment and that an international organization should influence a state’s sovereignty. He also refused to take the call of Mexico’s ambassador, who pleaded for mercy for Leal.
Perry was right to reject calls for clemency since Leal showed none toward his victim. In 1994, Leal killed a sixteen year old girl, Adria Sauceda, after brutally raping her. In the attack, Leal tore off the victim’s clothes, raped her, bashed her skull with a 40 pound piece of asphalt and smashed a long stick with a screw attached at the end into her vagina. There is no doubt he committed the crime and he took full responsibility for his barbaric actions.
This horrific crime destroyed the Sauceda family, who has been waiting since 1994 for justice Finally, their prayers were answered and justice was served with Leal’s long overdue execution. For 17 years, he had been able to use delaying tactics and appeals to evade execution. In the end, the Supreme Court rejected an emergency request for a stay of execution. The court ruled, “We have no authority to stay an execution in light of an 'appeal of the President,' presenting free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences, when those assertions come unaccompanied by a persuasive legal claim.”
Eventually, the rule of law finally caught up to Humbero Leal as he paid the ultimate prices for his brutality. It should not matter if a criminal is from Mexico or Mars, a killer needs to be executed. For a society to function properly, there needs to be a significant price for such a crime.
The taxpayers of Texas have been paying for Leal’s room and board at the penitentiary for the last seventeen years. Thankfully, no more money will be wasted on this human waste case.
Texas is one of the few states in the nation that is serious about the death penalty. Fortunately, Texas does execute those prisoners who have been convicted of heinous crimes and are on death row. The death penalty is an effective deterrent, but it must be exercised on a regular basis. Frequent executions will clear our prisons of death row inmates, save taxpayers money and bring justice to long suffering victims and their families.
As Leal was being executed, he shouted “Viva Mexico,” but in reality with his execution the law abiding citizens of our nation should be shouting “Viva Texas.”
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].
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