Attorneys for Jorge Lira Garcia are making another bid to have the death penalty excluded as a possible punishment in his trial for the slaying of 7-year-old Erika Arroyo.
Garcia is charged with capital homicide in the Aug. 25 rape and murder of Arroyo.After Arroyo's body was found, Garcia returned to his native Michoacan, Mexico. He voluntarily returned to the United States at the urging of his family and surrendered to police in Nogales, Ariz., last September.
But in a motion filed Monday, Garcia's attorney, John Caine, argued that U.S. Border Patrol officers should have informed him of a treaty between the United States and Mexico that permits Mexico to refuse to extradite its citizens in death penalty cases.
In March, Caine argued unsuccessfully that Garcia was entitled to the protection of the extradition treaty. The judge agreed with prosecutors who said such an interpretation would leave Mexican nationals "free to kill in this country without facing the death penalty if they can flee to Mexico."
Caine said a case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court also argues that the treaty should be tied to Miranda rights.
Garcia's expected three-week trial begins July 13.