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Foreigners on America's Death Rows

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  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108656597

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About the Authors
  • Capital cases involving foreigners as defendants are a serious source of contention between the United States and foreign governments. By treaty, foreigner defendants must be informed upon arrest that they may contact a consul of their home country for assistance, yet police and judges in the United States are lax in complying. Foreigners on America's Death Row investigates the arbitrary way United States police departments, courts, and the Department of State implement well-established rights of foreigners arrested in the US. Foreign governments have taken the United States into international courts, which have ruled that the US must enforce the treaty. The United States has ignored these rulings. As a result, foreigners continue to be executed after a legal process that their home governments justifiably find to be flawed. When one country ignores the treaty rights of another as well as the decisions of international courts, the established order of international relations is threatened.

    • Illustrates how the US government has given courts implausible arguments in order to allow state governments to execute foreigners in circumstances that violate the human rights of those foreigners and treaty obligations owed to foreign governments
    • Helps readers to understand why foreign governments are angry when their nationals are executed in the United States
    • Explains how the United States has become a pariah in the international community for failing to follow treaty rules that other countries follow
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    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘At a time when more and more people travel far beyond their own shores, the possibility to contact a consulate is an important protection against arbitrary detention and conviction abroad. In this volume, John Quigley, probably the most knowledgeable US expert regarding the law and practice of consular relations, gives a comprehensive account of the successful fight for creating an individual right to consular information and contact in international law and before international courts, and of the less successful quest for enshrining such a right in domestic law in the US in particular in cases where it counts most: after the pronouncement of the death penalty against a foreigner. This account is a timely and forceful argument for implementing international law for the sake of foreigners being detained and prosecuted in an alien court system.' Justice Andreas Paulus, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany and former counsel for Germany in the LaGrand case before the International Court of Justice

    ‘Quigley's book is both impressive and deeply disturbing. It depicts the grim story of how access to consular assistance by foreigners facing the death penalty, increasingly recognized as a human right, continues to be depreciated by the US judiciary out of a mix of stubbornness, ignorance and arrogance.' Bruno Simma, former Co-Agent and Counsel for Germany in the LaGrand Case and Judge at the International Court of Justice 2003–12

    'This is a meticulously researched and scholarly work by an expert on consular law on what has become a serious bone of contention between the US and foreign governments. Of obvious appeal to lawyers, students of international relations will also find this book of interest.' D. Ettinger, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108656597
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Leveling the Playing Field:
    1. Consular access as an antidote
    2. Treaty rights for foreigners
    3. Making treaty rights stick
    4. United States on board
    Part II. Death Cases Intrude:
    5. American consuls in blindfolds
    6. The first capital cases
    7. American law: a legal labyrinth
    8. Capital punishment and human rights
    9. Why treaties matter
    Part III. Into the Lion's Den:
    10. Foreign countries go to court
    11. First brush with the World Court
    12. The United States against the Western hemisphere
    13. Paraguay out, Germany in
    14. Inter-American Court deals a blow
    15. Two different planets
    16 Federal courts reject consular claims
    17 Uncle Sam in a corner
    Part IV. Keeping the World at Bay:
    18. World Court debacle
    19. Lagrand sows confusion
    20 Inter-American Commission in shock
    21. World Court says judges must act
    22. Exiting the World Court
    Part V. Coping with the Fallout:
    23. Supreme Court nixes remedies
    24. Texas courts refuse President Bush
    25. Supreme Court rejects World Court
    26. A legislative fix proves elusive
    27. Condemned Mexicans after the Avena case
    Part VI. The United States Stands Alone:
    28. Consular access as a human right
    29. The obligation of countries of origin
    30. Collateral damage
    31. The need for new thinking

  • Author

    John Quigley, Ohio State University
    John Quigley represented the European Union before the Supreme Court of the United States in cases relating to foreigners under sentence of death in the United States. He initiated petitions in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for such persons, and argued that same issue in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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