U.S. high court clears way for Mexican's execution

WASHINGTON, July 7 Thu Jul 7, 2011 5:54pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a last-minute stay of execution in a Texas case involving a Mexican national who was not told of his right to diplomatic counsel when arrested.

The high court's 5-4 decision was a setback for the Obama administration, which supported stopping the execution of convicted murderer Humberto Leal Garcia because of concerns over international treaty violations.

Leal Garcia, 38, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl and then bludgeoning her to death with a piece of asphalt in 1994 in Texas. He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday in Huntsville, Texas. (Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Paul Simao)