Nelson Serrano’s family says that 16 years on death row is enough for their loved one. These 5,840 days have been extinguishing their health and many times their faith in justice. He has been completely alone in a cell at the Union Correctional Institution in Riaford, Florida.
At 81, they only allow him to go to the patio twice a week and for three hours. Óscar Vela, one of his relatives, believes that it is time to end his punishment, especially because he is convinced that he is innocent and that he was the victim of several legal violations. He claims that he suffered an unfair trial in the United States and an illegal deportation from Ecuador. Therefore, Serrano’s family submitted an order to the Foreign Ministry for the State to present this case before the Court of The Hague.
This court is the last resort to reverse your death penalty and have a fair trial. Some issues support his argument. The first, that the US National Court of Justice itself He questioned the sentences of Florida. That happened in 2016 and according to the magistrates in hundreds of cases, including Serrano’s, there were violations of the Sixth Amendment of its Constitution.
This standard guarantees the human right to an impartial jury. Nelson Serrano was convicted of first-degree murder for the deaths of George Gonsalves, Frank Dosso, George Patisso and Diane Patisso, in 1997. This crime took place on the factory grounds of which Serrano, George Gonsalves and Frank were partners. Dosso, located in Bartow, Polk County, Florida. For three years the investigation did not walk. Bartow’s Prosecutor’s office interrogated, intercepted Serrano’s telephones, searched his house and had no evidence against him.
In those years, Serrano returned to Ecuador where he reunited with his family and repaid his business. In 2000, Florida prosecutors found what to them was proof of Serrano’s guilt. This was a parking ticket with the prints of the Ecuadorian.
The theory of the accusation indicated that Serrano planned the crimes, taking as an alibi a supposed trip to another US city. In 2002, two US attorneys landed in Quito in search of Serrano. Soon they managed to stop him with the help of the Police and other authorities. On one day he was deported, regardless of his dual nationality: Ecuadorian and American.
Óscar Vela says that this deportation – he calls it a kidnapping – was analyzed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which ratified the violations in the case. Therefore, in 2009, Ecuador was ordered to take measures to defend Serrano and sanction the public officials involved in the illegal deportation.
The IACHR pronouncement supports two other points to take Serrano’s case before The Hague. Specifically for alleged violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Convention on Extradition of Montevideo and the Extradition Treaty between Ecuador and the United States.
So far, there is no pronouncement by the Foreign Ministry, but Ecuador has not stopped paying its lawyers in the United States. Somewhat alleviated the situation of Serrano, who received hearing aids to listen and a denture to eat. He has the possibility that the US justice system will analyze his case in October of this year.
A favorable verdict will get him out of death row, but he will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Serrano told his loved ones that if he accepts that punishment it would be like dying. He defends his innocence and wants a fair trial. (I)