The execution of a Mexican national scheduled for Thursday in Texas has become something of an international brouhaha.

President Obama, the State Department and Mexico have all asked Texas for a last-minute reprieve of Humberto Leal, 38, who was convicted in 1995 in the brutal rape and murder of a teenage girl. Citing the U.N.-enforced 1963 Vienna Treaty, the officials believe Leal could have altered his penalty had he been given the chance.

The treaty requires foreign nationals who are arrested in foreign countries the right to access their consulates. Texas police would have been required to inform Leal that he has the legal right to contact the Mexican consular, which could have offered him legal advice.

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