Foreign Nationals, Part III

As of May 13, 2017

Information provided by Mark Warren of Human Rights Research[1]


Foreign Nationals Released on Grounds of Innocence

NAME VCCR CLAIM NATIONALITY STATE RELEASE CONSULAR INTERVENTION
Ricardo Aldape Guerra # Mexico Texas April 1997 YES
Roberto Miranda   Cuba Nevada September 1996 NO
Joaquin Martinez (acquitted after retrial) # Spain Florida June 2001 YES

Executive Clemency for Death-Sentenced Foreign Nationals

NAME VCCR CLAIM NATIONALITY STATE DATE STATUS CONSULAR INTERVENTION
Gerardo Valdez Maltos # Mexico Oklahoma June 16, 2001 30-day reprieve YES
Gerardo Valdez Maltos # Mexico Oklahoma Aug. 17, 2001 30-day reprieve (death sentence vacated on appeal) YES
Osbaldo Torres Aguilera # Mexico Oklahoma May 13, 2004 Life without parole YES
Hung Thanh Le # Viet Nam Oklahoma Feb. 25, 2004 30-day reprieve (later executed) YES
Juan Alonso Caballero Hernandez # Mexico Illinois Jan. 11, 2003 Life without parole YES
Gabriel Solache Romero # Mexico Illinois Jan. 11, 2003 Life without parole YES
Mario Flores Urban # Mexico Illinois Jan. 11, 2003 40 years (since released and deported; possibly innocent) YES
Evan Griffith # Belize Illinois Jan. 11, 2003 Life without parole ?
Gregory Madej # Poland Illinois Jan. 11, 2003 Life without parole YES
Oswaldo Regalado Soriano # Mexico Texas June 22, 2005 Juvenile death sentence reduced to life imprisonment, under Roper v. Simmons YES
Abelardo Arboleda Ortiz # Colombia Federal January 17, 2017 Federal death sentence commuted to life without parole YES
Ivan Teleguz # Ukraine Virginia April 20, 2017 Life imprisonment ?

Noteworthy Court Decisions

NAME NATIONALITY STATE DATE STATUS CONSULAR INTERVENTION
Jesus Rodriguez Jimenez Mexico Arizona Arizona Supreme Court, 08/07/1990 Death sentence reduced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for 35 years, for state’s failure to establish ‘especially cruel’ aggravating factor YES
Francisco Cardenas Arreola Mexico Texas Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 06/93 Death sentence reversed on appeal;resentenced to life imprisonment YES
Aurelio Barajas Mexico Idaho Agreement with prosecutor, 1995 Death sentence vacated due to incompetence to stand trial; negotiated life sentence YES
Gonzalo Marquez Marquez Mexico California California Supreme Court, 01/23/02 Death sentence vacated for ineffective assistance of counsel (failure to conduct thorough mitigation investigation in Mexico). Resentenced to life imprisonment YES
Bernardino Zuniga Zuniga Mexico North Carolina N. Carolina Supreme Court, 05/08/98 Death sentence vacated for intellectual disability mitigating factor; serving life sentence YES
Gerardo Valdez Maltos Mexico Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, 05/01/02 Sentence vacated for ineffective assistance; later resentenced to life YES
Kwan Fai Mak Hong Kong Washington Trial court, 04/30/02; 05/20/02 Sentence vacated; 13 LIFE SENTENCES ?
Gregory Madej Poland Illinois Federal District Court, 03/10/02 Sentence vacated for ineffective assistance; NEW SENTENCING HEARING ORDERED (later commuted) YES
Julio Mora Spain Florida State Supreme Court 01/25/02; Trial court 09/04/02 Sentence vacated; LIFE SENTENCE YES
Hector Barrow Guyana Delaware Superior Court, 01/04/02 New penalty hearing; LIFE SENTENCE ?
Krishna Maharaj United Kingdom Florida Trial court, 03/27/02 New penalty hearing; LIFE SENTENCE YES
Ramon Martinez Villareal Mexico Arizona Concurrence with prosecutors Death sentence VACATED, due to mental retardation mitigatoing factor YES
Toribio Rodriguez Rodriguez Mexico Arizona Trial court, 01/28/03 Conviction reversed on appeal; mistrial; 25 years to life, in exchange for guilty plea YES
Gerardo Valdez Maltos Mexico Oklahoma Agreement with Prosecutor, 11/16/03 Plea agreement to avoid re-sentencing hearing; LIFE SENTENCE YES
Kajornsak Prasertphong Thailand Arizona Arizona Supreme Court, 09/15/03 Death sentence VACATED, remanded for new sentencing hearing due to Ring v. Arizona (re-sentenced to life) ?
Osbaldo Torres Aguilera Mexico Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, 05/13/04 Stay of execution, evidentiary hearing on: Vienna Convention claim; ineffective assistance (sentence also commuted) YES
Jose Jacobo Amaya Ruiz El Salvador Arizona federal district court? 07/09/04 Sentence vacated due to mental retardation; LIFE SENTENCE imposed (parole eligible after 25 years) YES
Raphael Camargo Ojeda Mexico Arkansas federal district court, 08/12/04 Prosecution stipulated to mental retardation in exchange for waiver of further appeals, based on Vienna Convention claim. Negotiated LIFE SENTENCE. YES
Gilberto Martinez Cuba Oklahoma Trial court, 08/24/04 Prosecution stipulated to mental retardation in exchange for waiver of further appeals. Negotiated LIFE SENTENCE. ?
Kenneth Richey United Kingdom Ohio Sixth Circuit, 01/25/05 Conviction and sentence REVERSED on appeal; sentence REINSTATED on appeal by U.S. Supreme Court (11/28/05), for further review by lower courts of procedural obstacles to relief YES
Osbaldo Torres Aguilera Mexico Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, 09/06/05 affirming trial court finding of prejudice for consular rights violation and commutation to LIFE SENTENCE YES
Peter Sakarias Estonia California California Supreme Court, 03/03/05 Death sentence vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct (arguing conflicting theories in co-defendant case) ?
Tonatihu Aguilar Saucedo Mexico Arizona Maricopa County Superior Court Juvenile death sentence reduced to life, under Roper v. Simmons YES
Martín Raúl Fong Soto Mexico Arizona Pima County Superior Court, 02/21/06 Juvenile death sentence reduced to life, under Roper v. Simmons YES
Lynford Blackwood Jamaica Florida Florida Supreme Court, 10/12/06 Death sentence reversed on appeal due to ineffective assistance of trial counsel (failure to develop and present mental health mitigation evidence). Re-sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT, 04/20/07 ?
Isidro Marquez Burrola Mexico Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, 04/17/07 Death sentence modified to LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE due to ineffective assistance, where trial counsel failed to seek court funding for mitigation investigation and refused assistance offered by Mexican government through Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program (MCLAP). YES
Jesús Álvarez García Mexico Illinois Trial court, 03/09/2007 Death sentence vacated and resentenced to natural life YES
Kenneth Richey United Kingdom Ohio Agreement with prosecutor, entered 12/20/07 Death sentence and conviction reversed on appeal; plea bargain whereby Richey was RELEASED in exchange for time served and entry of no contest plea to charge of involuntary manslaughter. YES
Daniel Angel Plata Mexico Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 01/16/08 Death sentence reduced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT on grounds of mental retardation. YES
Constantino Carrera Montenegro Mexico California U.S. District Court, 03/13/2008 Death sentence set aside due to prosecutorial misconduct. Resentenced in 2015 to consecutive terms of 25 years to life. YES
Michael Blair Thailand Texas 366th District Court, 05/23/08 Recommended REVERSAL of death sentence and conviction, after prosecution conceded that key forensic evidence has been disproved by new DNA testing. Charge dismissed in August 2008 ?
Rudi Apelt Germany Arizona Maricopa County Superior Court, 05/21/2009 Death sentence reversed on grounds of intellectual disability, resentenced to life. YES
Hector Juan Ayala Mexico California Ninth Circuit, 08/20/12 Conviction reversed for discriminatory jury selection; on appeal, the US Supreme Court REINSTATED the conviction in 2015 (Davis v. Ayala) YES
Dieter Riechmann Germany Florida Florida Circuit Court, 03/19/10 Death sentence reduced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT, following reversal on appeal and remand for new sentencing hearing YES
Manuel Ortiz El Salvador Louisiana Louisiana 24th District Court, 08/19/2011 Death sentence reduced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT, for prosecutorial misconduct (death sentence later reinstated; see below) YES
Erickson Dimas Martinez El Salvador Arkansas Arkansas Supreme Court, 12/08/2011 NEW TRIAL ordered for juror misconduct (later resentenced to LWOP) YES
Abdul Awkal Lebanon Ohio Ohio Supreme Court, 06/18/2012 INDEFINITE STAY of execution, on grounds of mental incompetence ?
Miguel Angel Bacigalupo Peru California California Supreme Court, 08/27/2012 Death sentence reversed on appeal, for prosecutorial misconduct YES
Carlos Perez Gutierrez Mexico Nevada Nevada Supreme Court, 09/19/2012 Remanded for evidentiary hearing to determine prejudice resulting from denial of consular notification rights YES
Manuel Ortiz El Salvador Louisiana Louisiana Supreme Court, 01/29/2013 Death sentence REINSTATED YES
Virgilio Maldonado Rodriguez Mexico Texas Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 05/22/2013 Death sentence reduced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT, on grounds of intellectual disability YES
Bernardo Aban Tercero Nicaragua Texas Texas Court of Criminal Appeals,
08/25/2015
Execution STAYED and case remanded to address claim that key prosecution witness gave false testimony at trial YES
Michael Apelt Germany Arizona U.S. District Court, 12/01/2015 Death sentence reversed due to ineffective assistance at penalty phase; currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit YES
Hector Garcia Torres Mexico Texas Texas Court of Criminal Appeals 12/16/2015; resentenced 02/04/2016 Death sentence reversed for ineffective assistance; resentenced on a plea agreement to LIFE IMPRISONMENT with parole eligibility. YES
Pablo Ibar Spain Florida Florida Supreme Court, 02/04/2016 Conviction overturned for ineffective assistance, in light of the ‘scant evidence’ connecting Ibar to the murder. YES
Daniel Covarrubias Sanchez Mexico California California Supreme Court, 09/08/2016 Sentence reversed and remanded for new penalty hearing, due to jury selection error YES
Clemente Aguirre Jarquin Honduras Florida Florida Supreme Court, 10/27/2016 NEW TRIAL ordered based on newly-discovered evidence of actual innocence YES
Daniel Covarrubias Sanchez Mexico California California Supreme Court, 09/08/2016 Death sentence REVERSED for improper jury selection; subsequently resentenced to LWOP after prosecutor opted not to seek death penalty YES

  1. Human Rights Research provides free information on consular rights issues in death penalty cases, along with legal consulting and research services to attorneys, consulates and non-governmental organizations.  ↩


Case Totals by Outcome

Outcome Total
Exonerated 3
Sentence Reduced 43
Commuted 8
Intellectual disability 8
Ineffective assistance 8
Prosecutorial misconduct 4
Juvenile 3
Mentally incompetent 2
Vacated under Ring v. Arizona 1
Jury instruction 1
Jury selection 1
Other 7
Conviction Vacated, No New Death Sentence 5
Ineffective assistance 1
Juror misconduct 1
Other 3
Deceased 37
Executed 32
Died awaiting final case disposition 5
Still Under Death Sentence 138
Total Known Cases 226