Senator Ellis on World Court Order in Medellin Case
"The crime that Jose Medellin is convicted of is heinous and despicable and I extend my sincere condolences to the victims' families. However, I urge Texas and Gov. Perry to heed the order of the World Court, for the sake of all Americans and Texans living, working, or studying abroad.
Showing regard for the foreign nationals in the United States under our treaty obligations serves to protect Texans and other American citizens by ensuring that any detention or arrest is followed by contact with a local United States consulate so that legal assistance and other moral support can be provided.
In 2005, I along with Senator Leticia Van de Putte from San Antonio, proposed legislation that would have established state law requiring law enforcement officials to notify local consulates when any of their nationals are arrested in Texas. This legislation did not pass and it should have. It was then, and is now clearly the right thing to do because our nation has promised to do so, because of Texans living and visiting abroad, and because of the positive relations we seek to continue with our neighbors in other countries. Accordingly, I plan to re-propose this legislation during the next legislative session in 2009.
Texans are notoriously independent and proud, as we should be. However, our decision on how to move forward in this case will have repercussions that will resound around the world. I hope that the consequences that may fall upon our own overseas and what will become of our relationships with other countries weigh heavy on Gov. Perry's mind as he makes his decision."