January 19, 2006: Supreme Court Vacates Consular Rights Ruling
The Supreme Court of Virginia vacated via a writ of mandamus Judge Alden's historic ruling striking the death penalty in Commonwealth v. Pham as a sanction for violations of the defendant's rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. However, the ruling was only procedural (that circuit judges do not have discretion to dismiss the death penalty pre-trial), seemingly leaving open the substantive issue of the relevance of the Vienna Convention on U.S. death penalty cases.
Read the Supreme Court of Virginia's order in In re: Horan
, Rec. Nos. 060023, 060024 (pending publication) (Va. S. Ct. Jan. 19, 2006).
January 3, 2006: Fairfax Judge Prohibits Death Penalty Because Inmate Was Denied Consular Rights
Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Leslie M. Alden granted Vietnamese national Dinh Pham's motion to prohibit the imposition of the death penalty because he was denied his consular rights under the Vienna Convention when police failed to inform him of his right to contact his embassy.
Comprehensive Information on Foreign Nationals