July 9, 2015
Contact: Gloria Rubac 713-503-2633
Friends and Supporters of Death Row Prisoner Bernardo Tercero to Rally Outside of Nicaraguan Consulate; Will Urge the Consul General to Increase Efforts to Stop Tercero’s August 26 Execution
Friends and supporters of Nicaraguan citizen Bernardo Tercero will rally outside of the Nicaraguan consulate today at 11:00 am, 8989 Westheimer Rd., 77063, to encourage the consul general to intensify efforts to stop Tercero’s August 26th execution in Huntsville.
There are many troubling issues in Tercero’s case that must be settled before Texas carries out this execution. Among them are:
1. Tercero was actually 17 years old when arrested for capital murder which would make him ineligible for the death penalty according to the Supreme Court’s Roper v Simmons ruling in 2005 that declared juveniles ineligible for the death penalty.
2. Despite the fact that he specifically requested to speak with the Nicaraguan Consulate and the authorities had full knowledge of Tercero’s status as a foreign national, they denied him his right under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations (VCCR, article 36).
3. Tercero had totally incompetent trial attorneys. Rather than use the funding provided by the court to have a knowledgeable professional assist in obtaining records and conducting a background and mitigation investigation in Nicaragua, attorneys instead refunded $8,449.42 of the $21,000 in funds to Harris County.
4. Although the trial court approved Tercero’s counsel’s request for a forensic psychologist in February of 2000, counsel did not attempt to contact a psychologist until September 29, 2000, less than two weeks before Tercero’s trial was set to begin. No psychological testing was ever done, nor was any psychological or other expert evidence, records, or testimony offered at trial.
British attorney Peter Bellamy and Tercero petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene in this case. Bellamy was notified on July 6 that the IACHR accepted the petition on its merits and will investigate the case. The IACHR has renewed the “protective measures” status of Bernardo which imposes responsibilities on US authorities not to carry out the execution pending the outcome of the Commission’s investigation of Bernardo’s petition.
There have been multiple systemic failures in Tercero’s case, beginning with his arrest and continuing today—a lack of due process at every stage of prosecution, defense, and post trial appeal. Until there is a remedy to these, Bernardo’s sentence must not be carried out.
We urge the Honorable Samuel Trejos, Consul General of Nicaragua, to step up and defend his fellow countryman, Bernardo Tercero, before anymore injustices take place.