Click here to send an email to Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Urging Them to Stop the Execution of Heliberto Chi scheduled for October 3, 2007.
The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Heliberto Chi on October 3, 2007. Chi is a citizen of Honduras who was sentenced to death for the March 24, 2001 murder of Armand Paliotta, 56, at the K&G Men's Superstore in southwest Arlington.
Chi's court-appointed attorney, Wes Ball, says that Chi was not allowed to contact his country's consulate as prescribed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. That 1963 treaty was meant to allow foreigners who are arrested the right to speak with their consulates.
"Nobody told Mr. Chi he had a right to a consular official, and it was never brought to his attention," Ball said.
If Texas executes a person who was not given the right to contact his consulate and seek assistance when he was arrested, then U.S. citizens who travel abroad may not be guaranteed the right by other countries to contact the U.S. consulate when they are arrested.
In the text of your message, urge the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Perry to commute Chi's sentence to life in prison.
The government of Honduras has urged Texas officials to spare the life of Chi. The request was part of a clemency petition signed by 50 nations seeking a commuted sentence for Heliberto Chi.
Under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 (VCCR), local authorities must notify all detained foreigners "without delay" of their right to have their consulate informed of their detention. At the request of the national, the authorities must then notify the consulate without delay, facilitate unfettered consular communication and grant consular access to the detainee. Consuls are empowered to arrange for their nationals' legal representation and to provide a wide range of humanitarian and other assistance, with the consent of the detainee. Local laws and regulations must give "full effect" to the rights enshrined in Article 36. The USA ratified the VCCR without reservations in 1969; so fundamental is the right to consular notification and access that the US Department of State considers it to be required under customary international law in all cases, even if the detainee's home country has not signed the VCCR. As of 1 January 2000, at least 167 countries were parties to the VCCR.
In addition to sending Gov Perry an email, you can leave him a phone message at: 512-463-2000, fax him at 512-463-1849 (his fax line is often busy, so just keep trying) or write him at:
Office of the GovernorP.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Texas Board of Pardons and ParolesExecutive Clemency Section
8610 Shoal Creek BoulevardAustin, Texas 78757
Phone (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 467-0945
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