No one should be surprised when murderers — like born-in-Mexico Marine killer Cesar Armando Laurean — head for the border. If they can make it into Mexico, the most brutal criminals are sure of not facing execution.
A methamphetamine dealer who gunned down a deputy during a traffic stop in Southern California. A man in Arizona who killed his ex-girlfriend's parents and brother and snatched his children. A man who suffocated his baby daughter and left her body in a toolbag on an expressway overpass near Chicago.
Ordinarily, these would be death penalty cases. But these men fled to Mexico, thereby escaping the possibility of execution.
The reason: Mexico refuses to send anyone back to the United States unless the U.S. gives assurances it won't seek the death penalty – a 30-year-old policy that rankles some American prosecutors and enrages victims' families.
"We find it extremely disturbing that the Mexican government would dictate to us, in Arizona, how we would enforce our laws at the same time they are complaining about our immigration laws," said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant to the prosecutor in Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix.
"Even in the most egregious cases, the Mexican authorities say, 'No way,' and that's not justice. That's an interference of Mexican authorities in our judicial process in Arizona." [ Fleeing to Mexico Thwarts Death Penalty, MSNBC AP, Jan 17 2008]
One factor unmentioned in this article is the lack of a strong advocate for American victims: the useless occupant of the White House has consistently acted on the side of Mexicans. (See Bush Crushes Justice for Victim Families.) One example occurred when President Bush stuck his nose in the justice system last year by requesting that Texas courts overturn the conviction of a Mexican national, thereby siding with a rapist-murderer Jose Medellin.
See? With Bush in the White House, Mexican criminals have an energetic defender at the top, and we American citizens do not.