Accuracy in Media

“Mr. Leal, convicted of murder during a sexual assault, had grossly incompetent legal representation. If he had been given access to a Mexican diplomat, he would have had a chance at better counsel and likely the opportunity to strike a plea deal, avoiding the death penalty.”

So said The New York Times in a June 17 editorial about convicted rapist-murderer Humberto Leal.

Just before his execution, the Times quoted the Associated Press as saying, “In his last moments, Mr. Leal repeatedly said he was sorry, and shouted twice, ‘Viva Mexico!’”

What the AP reported was that he said, “I have hurt a lot of people. … I take full blame for everything. I am sorry for what I did.”

So, in other words, he was guilty as hell. But this had been proven beyond any doubt.  Nevertheless, for Leal to shout this from his death bed was extremely newsworthy and egg in the face of those in the media who had designed their coverage in a manner sympathetic to his well-deserved plight.

The Times story was headlined, “Mexican Citizen Is Executed as Justices Refuse to Step In.” In fact, he was an illegal alien in the U.S., as the shouts of “Viva Mexico!” attest. He was executed in the U.S. not because he was here illegally, but because his crimes were committed here.

This is the killer that the Times wanted to be able to avoid the death penalty. His victim was a 16-year-old girl, Adria Sauceda. He raped and killed her, obliterating her face and head with a chunk of asphalt, and then left a large stick in her that he had used to sexually assault her.

The Obama Administration intervened to save his life, calling it a “stay of execution.” It wanted the Supreme Court to let him live at least until Congress decided to pass Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy’s bill, the Consular Notification Compliance Act. The copy of the bill on Leahy’s website didn’t even have a number, meaning that it was not a serious piece of legislation. Not even listed on the “legislation” page of Leahy’s website, it was subsequently assigned S. 1194 and has no co-sponsors. Clearly, he introduced the bill in order to facilitate the activities of the left-wingers anxious to exploit the case for the purposes of creating a massive miscarriage of justice.

Incredibly, in a move that is even more questionable than the jury verdicts in the Casey Anthony case, the Obama Administration asked for the killer’s life to be spared so that the Supreme Court could preserve “its potential future jurisdiction” in the case. This is actually in the brief.

The Supreme Court ruled against Obama. It said that “…we are doubtful that it is ever appropriate to stay a lower court judgment in light of unenacted legislation. Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be.”

So why would the Obama Administration go to such drastic and absurd lengths to save the life of an illegal alien killer?

The answer provided by crime blogger Tina Trent, an advocate of victims’ rights, is that Obama’s constituency demanded it. This is the part of the story the Times, The Washington Post, and other liberal media refuse to tell. These “progressives,” many funded by George Soros as part of the “anti-incarceration” movement, believe criminals are the real victims and that international law should supersede national law.

As Trent revealed, Leal’s attorney, Sandra Babcock, has been funded by the government of Mexico and works at Northwestern University Law School with former communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn.

Dohrn had participated in a 2003 conference, sponsored by all of the major liberal groups, on how to force U.S. courts to use international law and U.N. treaties in place of laws passed by Congress and state legislatures.

Incredibly, the bomber Dohrn, a friend of Obama’s and former fundraiser for him, is now accepted by the progressive community as an advocate for families and children and spoke on this subject at the conference. They raised a child, Chesa Boudin, whose parents, fellow members of the Weather Underground, went to prison for murder. He became a cheerleader for the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela and took Dohrn and her husband, fellow terrorist Bill Ayers, on “educational” tours of Venezuela.

The treaty at issue in the Leal case had never been implemented by the Congress. The Obama Administration argued that the treaty should be observed because legislation to implement it might be passed by Congress, even though the Leahy bill to do so, introduced on June 14, had no co-sponsors. This would be comical were it not so tragic. It was a fraud on the courts.

One of the participants in that conference, with Dohrn, was Harold Koh, whose name appears on the cover of the Obama brief in the Leal case. Koh is now the State Department legal adviser.

Other names include:

  • Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. Solicitor General
  • Lanny A. Breuer,  Assistant Attorney General
  • Michael R. Dreeben, Deputy Solicitor General,
  • Eric D. Miller, Assistant to the Solicitor General, and
  • Sarah H. Cleveland, Counselor of International Law, Department of State.

The story is not a “Mexican national” being executed in violation of a treaty that has never been implemented. That is a bad enough version of the story. The story is that the “progressive” community, with some Republican dupes, wanted to have the courts implement a treaty, in the absence of congressional action, so that international lawyers and their media allies could use Leal to press their ultimate objective—abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. I wrote about this campaign over 10 years ago, in a report entitled, “Saving the Lives of Killers, Traitors, and Spies.”

And yet the Supreme Court rejected this ploy only by a 5-4 vote. This is as shocking as Leal’s in-your-face acknowledgement of his crimes and tribute to Mexico.

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