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August 25, 2015

Stay in Execution Granted to Texas Inmate on Death Row

New York City – Human Rights First today praised the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for granting a stay of execution in the case of Bernardo Aban Tercero to allow for additional investigation of legal claims. Tercero was scheduled to be executed tomorrow by the state of Texas. 

"The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals did the right thing by staying Mr. Tercero's execution.” said Human Rights First’s Melissa Hooper. “Many questions remain in this case, and now the court will allow at least some of them to finally be investigated. We are hopeful that this stay is the first step in providing Mr. Tercero with some measure of due process that until now he has not received.”

This comes following last week’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) preliminary report responding to a petition filed by Human Rights First finding that the United States violated Bernardo Aban Tercero's rights to due process and a fair trial that are enshrined in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The IACHR  report recognized repeated failures on the part of Tercero’s court-appointed counsel at every stage of his proceedings, including pre-trial, trial, appeal, and post-conviction review. The IACHR also stated that Texas failed to ensure adequate representation, violating Tercero's rights to due process and to a fair trial. 

For more information or to speak with Hooper contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at margolisme@humanrightsfirst.org or 212-845-5269.