Texas executes Mexican despite White House plea

By MICHAEL GRACZYK | July 8, 2011 | 3:15 AM EDT

This undated handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Humberto Leal. State lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court that appeals to halt this week's scheduled execution of the Mexican national for the 1994 rape-slaying of a 16-year-old San Antonio girl are without merit. Leal faces lethal injection Thursday in Huntsville,Texas. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas has executed a Mexican citizen despite an appeal backed by the White House that argued the case could affect other foreigners arrested in the U.S. and Americans in legal trouble abroad.

Humberto Leal was executed Thursday for the 1994 rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda of San Antonio. From the death chamber, the 38-year-old mechanic repeatedly apologized.

His attorneys were supported by Mexico's government and the Obama administration in asking the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay.

They said Leal wasn't told an international treaty allowed him to seek legal assistance from the Mexican government. They also noted that Congress is considering legislation that would require court reviews for condemned foreigners who aren't offered the help of their consulates.

The Supreme Court rejected the request 5-4.