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Mexican Congress votes to remove death penalty from constitution

[JURIST] Mexico's House [official website in Spanish] voted for an constiutional amendment Thursday that expunges the death penalty language from the country's present constitution [document in Spanish] by a margin of 412-0. The amendment calls for the current language to be replaced with verbiage that prohibits legal executions, mutilations, and forms of cruel and unusual punishment. While Mexico had not carried out a death penalty in the last 43 years and has regularly refused to hand over suspects to the US who faced a potential death sentence, the practice was still legal in military courts. Mexico recently launched a successful International Court of Justice case against the United States [JURIST report] for putting Mexican nationals on US death row without giving them access to consular assistance. The amendment, which was passed by the Mexican Senate [official website] in March, now must go before the nation's 31 states for approval, but significant opposition is not anticipated. AP has more.

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