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On a summer night in Houston in 1993, Jenny Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, aged 14 and 16, respectively, left a pool party. They were worried about getting home late, so they decided to take a shortcut.

Cutting through a park, they came across six men drinking beer. The men had recently finished a gang initiation ceremony and decided to celebrate by having “fun,” as one of them would later put it. But after raping and beating the girls for about an hour, the men started to worry that the girls might recognize them. So they strangled the girls to death. They used a belt. Then the belt broke, so they used shoelaces. Then they started stomping on the girls’ necks, to make sure.

All of the men were arrested several days later. The three who were older than 18 at the time would eventually be executed. But one of them, Jose Medellin, challenged the sentence all the way to the Supreme Court. The issue was that he was a Mexican national, having only moved to the United States when he was three, and none of the Houston police had bothered to notify the Mexican Consulate when he was arrested.

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