International Court Finds U.S. in Violation of Treaty


On March 31, 2004 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided in favor of Mexico, finding that the United States violated the rights of most of the 51 Mexican citizens currently on death row across the country. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which the U.S. has ratified, declares that foreign citizens shall have the right to speak with diplomatic officials upon arrest.  The Mexican defendants named in the suit argued that they were denied that right and the court agreed. The ICJ said that U.S. courts must review the convictions and sentences in each case. At least one of the defendants, Osvaldo Torres, is facing an imminent execution date in Oklahoma.

  • Decision of the ICJ
  • ICJ Press Release Announcing the Decision
  • Recent Editorials on the Court's Decision
  • Amnesty International Brief on Osvaldo Torres, scheduled for execution in Oklahoma on May 18
  • DPIC: Foreign Nationals on US Death Rows
  • DPIC Report: International Perspectives on the Death Penalty