Save Rudy Medrano from Texas Death Row


   We are concerned with the case of Rodolfo Medrano, a death row inmate at Polunsky in Livingston Texas.  We are concerned with the law that Rudy was convicted under, which is the Law of Parties.  Texas is the only state to use the Law of Parties in capital cases.  Rudy was at home with his wife at the time of the crime


    We the undersigned are turning to you in request to free Rodolfo Medrano from Death Row at Polunsky Unit in Livingston.  We are concerned about the case of Rodolfo and that Law of Parties which Rodolfo was sentenced under.



Allegation



On August 27, 2005 Rodolfo Medrano was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for the shooting deaths of six male Hispanics.  In so doing the State of Texas failed to ensure Mr. Medrano's  right to a fair and impartial trial for the following reasons:



·             Insufficient evidence to prove the anticipation of any murder


·             Evidence of Mr. Medrano's knowledge of an unrelated murder


·             Judge erred in not allowing lesser included offenses


·             Failure of Mr. Medrano's attorneys to present mitigation evidence at trial


·             Imposing the death penalty on a non-triggerman



THE CRIME



On January 4, 2003 Rodolfo Medrano was called by Jorge Martinez about a plan to rob drugs.  Mr. Martinez asked for Medrano's assistance and weapons.  Mr. Medrano and his wife, Janie, had plans to go out for dinner and a movie, but weapons were not picked up.  Mr. Medrano spoke to Humberto Garza III and agreed to take weapons to the house of Juan Cordova.  The Medranos left their home and Rodolfo dropped guns off at Cordova's house.  The Medranos were out past 11 pm, when they bought some VHS movies at a movie rental store, and afterwards made their way home.  On January 5, 2003, Mr. Medrano received a phone call from Mr. Cordova, and was told to pick up weapons at the same location.  Mr. Medrano heard of the multiple murders on the evening news.  Mr. Medrano was arrested and arraigned on one count of capital murder on January 25, 2003.



SALIENT ISSUES



Mr. Medrano claims he was not at the crime scene and did not know or intend for the murders to occur.  Witness testimony and lead prosecutor agree with this claim



Mr. Medrano was contacted after the conspiracy was approved by other gang members.  Mr. Medrano could not have anticipated the murders because he did not know who would be involved in the actual robbery, he was not part of or present at the planning of the crime, and he did not know who the victims were or where they lived.



NONE of Mr. Medrano's co-defendants indicated him as a party or conspirator of the robbery or murders.  They did not place him at the planning of the crime or at the crime scene because he was not present when they planned the actual robbery.



Willful misconduct by the trial judge and prosecutor in using evidence of another capital murder case in the guilt/innocence phase of trial was only used to inflame the jury's mind.  This case was meticulously presented as an extraneous offence, without a final conviction, greatly harming Mr. Medrano's presumption of innocence.


State used two theories to convict Mr. Medrano of murder, proving neither.



·             Theory 1 was a robbery gone wrong, but no lesser included offence for robbery was allowed on the jury charge.  State did not prove that a robbery had taken place or had been attempted.


·             Theory 2 stated that the murders were gang-related.  Prosecutor Judith Cantu accused Mr. Medrano of ordering gang members to shoot and kill rival gang members.  No proof was provided to prove this theory.



The judge did not allow lesser included offenses to be included in the jury charge, even though the State did not prove every element of the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.  Mr. Medrano was indicted as a principle, while evidence was insufficient to convict as a principle or party.



THE TRIAL



The judge allowed willful misconduct by the prosecutor and in allowing evidence of Mr. Medrano's knowledge of an unrelated murder case in the guilt/innocence phase of trial, which has not resulted in a final conviction; he eroded the defendant'ss presumption of innocence.



Mr. Medrano's trial was prejudiced by hearsay testimony upon hearsay testimony from State witnesses (detectives),over continued objections by defendant%u2019s attorney, denying defendant's right to confront and cross examine, and basically to defend himself against these out-of-court witnesses.



The judge erred in qualifying Detective Robert Alvarez, and allowing his testimony as a gang expert.  Detective Alvarez had only testified at two previous trials and both were related to this alleged crime.



APPEALS



Direct Appeal was submitted on December 18, 2006.


State Habeas is due November 2007.



CONCLUSION


Mr. Medrano maintains that he was wrongly convicted of capital murder when he did not have intent to kill and could not have anticipated someone would be killed.  The imposition of the death penalty is unconstitutional when applied to Mr. Medrano's case, and no rational jury should have answered  to Special Issue Two.  Mr. Medrano's conviction is unjust.  Mr. Medrano's death sentence is cruel and unusual punishment, and a violation of his constitutional rights.

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