Texas appeals court suspends execution of Nicaraguan

By Jill Replogle

WASHINGTON — A Texas court on Tuesday stayed the execution of a Nicaraguan convicted of murder, whose death had been scheduled for Wednesday over the objections of his own government.

The Texas appellate court postponed the execution to take up an appeal by Bernardo Tercero, who has spent 15 years on death row after being convicted of a 1997 murder of a school teacher.

Tercero’s lawyers claim he was denied the right to a fair trial.

They also claim a key witness recanted his testimony, and that Tercero was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime and not eligible for the death penalty.

Tercero was scheduled to die at 6.00 p.m. local time in Huntsville, Texas on Wednesday.

Rights groups including the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have also claimed Tercero’s rights were violated at trial.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega had asked for mercy and rejected Tercero’s  sentence. His country abolished capital punishment in 1979.

Ortega asked U.S. President Barack Obama to intercede and stop the death penalty for humanitarian reasons, calling execution for a crime committed as a minor a “cruel and unusual punishment” in a letter to Obama.

But the U.S. president has few powers to stay … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times