Ruben Cardenas was executed by the state of Texas for the sexual assault and murder of his sixteen year old cousin. According to court documents Ruben Cardenas would sneak through a window and abduct sixteen year old Mayra Laguna. The teen would be sexually assaulted and murdered. Ruben Cardenas would deny that he was responsible for the brutal crime. Ruben who is a Mexican Nationalist tried to get his sentence commuted to life due a treaty between the USA and Mexico however he would be executed by lethal injection on November 8, 2017
Ruben Cardenas More News
Amid international outcry and claims of global treaty violations, Texas on Wednesday executed a Mexican national who has long professed his innocence in the rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin in the Rio Grande Valley 20 year ago.
Ruben Cardenas Ramirez thanked his lawyers and declared his innocence one last time before he was pronounced dead at 10:26 p.m
“I love you all very much. And I know that you love me too. Life does go on,” he told his family in a written statement just before his execution.
“I will not and cannot apologize for someone else’s crime, but, I will be back for justice! You can count on that.”
In the days before the 47-year-old’s death, Mexican officials held press conferences in Mexico City and Houston, decrying the execution they said followed from flagrant disregard for international law. Amnesty International, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations all condemned the state’s use of its harshest punishment.
“I am extraordinarily disappointed with this outcome and at the same time overcome with pride at the efforts made by his lawyer, Maurie Levin, and her team of lawyers,” said Gregory Kuykendall, an Arizona attorney authorized to speak on behalf of Mexico. “And I’m equally proud of the Mexican government for so diligently pursuing every avenue of defense conceivable.”
But for the victim’s family, Wednesday’s outcome was a final relief. The slain teen’s sister – who witnessed her abduction 20 years earlier – declared “justice was finally served,” and reminisced over the murdered girl’s smile and loving nature.
Police first zeroed in on the Guanajuato native as the prime suspect in the shocking crime just hours after Mayra Laguna’s disappearance on Feb. 22, 1997. Roxanna Laguna later said she had spotted a man slipping in through the window and snatching her older sister from the bed they shared.
When authorities pulled in Cardenas and his buddy Tony Castillo for questioning, at first they only admitted to a wild night out, filled with booze and cocaine. But after hours of interrogation, they confessed to the killing.
Later, prosecutors say, Cardenas led investigators to Mayra’s body, tossed in a canal off the beaten path.
“This guy is guilty as sin,” Hidalgo County prosecutor Ted Hake reaffirmed in the weeks before the execution.
But defense counsel alleged that the multiple confessions were coerced and said police led Cardenas to the dump site and not the other way around.
Aside from raising questions about the evidence, lawyers for Cardenas and representatives of Mexico have harped on alleged violations of a consular treaty and a World Court ruling.
When authorities in Hidalgo County first arrested Cardenas they did not immediately tell Mexico or notify the accused of his right to talk to his country’s consulate, according to court documents — an apparent oversight that violates Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
A 2004 U.N. World Court ruling mandates that foreign nationals who weren’t told of their consular rights are allowed a review to examine whether that oversight influenced the outcome of the criminal case.
Yet it was because of the lack of consular notification that Mexican officials didn’t find out about the arrest for five months – long after Cardenas had given multiple, conflicting confessions that his lawyer argues were coerced.
Cardenas repeatedly asked for a lawyer, but authorities ignored his pleas until 11 days after his arrest, instead pushing on in their interrogations without telling him about his consular notification rights, his attorney alleged in court filings.
But a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision deemed the U.N. order unenforceable unless Congress takes legislative action — and it hasn’t.
Wednesday’s planned execution would be the fifth time Texas put to death a Mexican national in apparent violation of international law, officials said Tuesday.
Cardenas spent his final days pecking away at his typewriter and visiting with family, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records. On Wednesday he refused breakfast and was transferred to the death chamber in Huntsville.
Meanwhile, in a flurry of last-minute filings, Cardenas’ lawyers struggled in a futile bid to save his life.
On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals slapped down a pair of appellate claims seeking DNA testing, calling the request a possible stall tactic that wouldn’t be enough to prove innocence anyway.
Then on Tuesday, defense attorney Levin filed a civil suit targeting prison officials she says refused to let her watch the execution. Citing previous botched lethal injections in other states, Levin argued for the need for phone access during and before the punishment.
Federal courts denied the claim on Wednesday, along with a suit demanding DNA testing in the case. Within hours, the Fifth Circuit denied the latter claim on appeal.
Carrying out the execution without more testing “violates the most basic notions of fairness and justice,” Levin said.
The Hidalgo County District Attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With hours to go before Cardenas went to the death chamber, his counsel filed two appeals begging the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. The court denied both just before 10 p.m.