Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court denied last minute-appeals to halt the execution of a Mexican national convicted of raping and killing his 16-year-old cousin.
Ruben Cardenas Ramirez, 47, was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital and pronounced dead at 10:26 p.m. CST.
In his last words, he thanked his family, attorneys and maintained his innocence.
"I will not and cannot apologize for someone else's crime, but, I will be back for justice! You can count on that!" Cardenas said, according to the Texas Tribune.
Cardenas was sentenced to death in 1997 for the death of his cousin.
The execution marked the end of a controversial death penalty case that drew international attention.
Four hours after Cardenas was scheduled to be executed Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled against appeals by Mexican officials.
"I am extraordinarily disappointed with this outcome and at the same time overcome with pride at the efforts made by his lawyer, Maurie Levin, and her team of lawyers," Gregory Kuykendall, an Arizona attorney authorized to speak on behalf of Mexico, said. "And I'm equally proud of the Mexican government for so diligently pursuing every avenue of defense conceivable."
Ambassador Jacob Prado Gonzalez, general director for protection of Mexicans abroad, traveled to Houston on Tuesday to voice opposition to the planned execution and the death penalty in general.
"For the Mexican government, capital punishment constitutes one of the most essential violations of human rights," Gonzalez said.
The Mexican government also accuses local law enforcement in Hidalgo County of failing to notify Mexico of Cardenas' arrest and failing to tell the suspect of his right to notify the consulate, both of which violate treaties.
The government of Mexico paid for Cardenas' defense and also notified the the U.N. Security Council about the alleged treaty violations.
On Tuesday, two U.N. human rights experts called on Texas to halt the execution, scheduled to take place a 6 p.m., because Cardenas didn't receive a fair trail. A 2004 U.N. World Court law requires countries to notify foreign nationals of their consular rights upon arrest.
"If the scheduled execution of Mr Cárdenas goes ahead, the U.S. Government will have implemented a death penalty without complying with international human rights standards," the experts said in a news release issued by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. "This will be tantamount to an arbitrary deprivation of life.
"We call for his death sentence to be annulled and for Mr. Cárdenas to be re-tried in compliance with international standards relating to due process and fair trial."
The sister of Mayra Laguna said she saw a man come into her sister's room through the window and force her to leave while bound. Laguna's beaten body was later found dumped in a canal.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Cardenas asked for a lawyer multiple times but his requests were ignored until 11 days after his arrest.