MEXICO. HOUSE APPROVES MEASURE TO PROHIBIT DEATH PENALTY
June 23, 2005: Mexico's House approved a measure striking the death penalty from the constitution and inserting language expressly prohibiting capital punishment. The amendment had only to be passed by legislatures in a majority of the nation's 31 states, where it was expected to face little opposition. The Mexican legal system hadn't put anyone to death since 1961, and courts usually refused to extradite suspects to the US or other countries if there was a chance they could be sentenced to death. But capital punishment was still technically legal, especially in military courts. By a vote of 412-0, with two abstentions, lawmakers passed a measure approved in March by the Senate. The vote came during a special House session convened during what was normally a recess period.
The constitution's Article 14 reads "no one can be deprived of life, liberty or their property, possessions or rights without a trial."
It would be modified and new language inserted that forbid legal executions, mutilations and other forms of cruel and unusual punishment.
The measure that cleared Congress stated that "even though it is still mentioned in our legislation, there has not been an execution in 43 years, since Aug. 9 1961." (Sources: Dow Jones International News, 24/06/2005)