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Executed despite Obama plea

OBAMA: Wanted stay of execution until the end of the year

DESPITE PLEAS from the Obama administration, a Mexican citizen has been executed in Texas for the murder of an American girl.

Humberto Leal Garcia, 38, who had lived in the US since he was a child, was executed on July 7 after after the Supreme Court rejected a White House-backed appeal to spare the killer's life.

President Barack Obama’s administration had claimed that the sentence would put the US in breach of international obligations.

Hours before Leal Garcia was executed by lethal injection, the Supreme Court justices voted 5-4 to allow the sentence.

The Mexican national was sentenced to death for the rape and murder in 1994 of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda, whose beaten body was found unclothed, hours after she left a party with Leal Garcia in San Antonio, Texas.

The Obama administration had wanted a delay to allow Congress to consider legislation covering foreign nationals who were not given proper consular access before being tried for crimes that carry the death penalty, reports the BBC.

The Mexican government said prior to the execution that the nation regarded it as a violation of international law.

"This is about the right that each person has under the Vienna Convention to be able to enjoy the support of their country of origin when they face criminal proceedings in a foreign country," the Mexican Foreign Ministry said.

On July 7, a state department spokeswoman said that the federal government had filed a brief with the US Supreme Court, supporting Leal Garcia argument for a stay of execution until the end of the year.

US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli wrote in the brief that the execution would have "serious repercussions for United States foreign relations, law enforcement and other co-operation with Mexico, and the ability of American citizens travelling abroad to have the benefits of consular assistance in the event of detention".

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