Bob Hilliard announced today that the United States Supreme Court granted his request on behalf of his client to determine if a Mexican citizen standing in Mexico has protections against being wrongly shot by a border patrol agent standing in the United States. Fifteen-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca an unarmed teenager, was playing with his friends in a cement culvert near the U.S./Mexico border and was shot in the head in June 2010 by U.S. Border Patrol, agent, Jesus Mesa, Jr.
Said Bob Hilliard, the lead attorney representing the Hernandez family, â€œIt cannot be the law of our land that innocent Mexican children can be murdered at the hands of border patrol agents with no legal consequence. If total civil immunity for the actions of these agents continues then there will continue to be a â€˜shoot to killâ€™ attitude by some rogue agents knowing they have no fear of judicial review for their conduct.â€
â€œOur Constitution is made of strong enough fabric to offer its protections to the most vulnerable and innocent of our southern neighbors standing mere feet from our border. In fact, it was so designed and intended for such use.
The Supreme Court will now have an opportunity to determine and reconfirm that our Constitution was, by intentional design, meant to be a functional instrument of strength and practical application, not a static piece of aged brittle paper. I look forward to arguing on behalf of the Hernandez family and the memory of Sergio in support of an ideal and a law, constitutionally grounded, that will actually save innocent lives.
â€œThere can be no legitimate opposition to preventing US Border Patrol Agents from using Mexican children for target practice—and then protecting the shooter from review or accountability by arguing that an invisible line separating our countries is impenetrable by those injured. The fatal bullet flew across our border unaffected by our countryâ€™s boundaries and then into Sergioâ€™s body, killing him instantly. But, when Sergioâ€™s family seeks justice for their murdered son, that same border suddenly becomes bullet proof? Death is death. Murder is murder.Over the last decade we have watched the increasing frequency of unprovoked and unjustified shootings of Mexican nationals standing in our borderâ€™s shadow and in their home soil.
â€œThis is a now a recurring theme on the border resulting again and again in the death of innocent people. The US Border has become a free firing range for law enforcement, where rogue agents, unencumbered by the fear of civil consequence can draw their weapon and kill indiscriminately. An official bent on committing a crime and killing innocents, should be held accountable. This is not about reasonable zeal of a U. S. border patrol agent, itâ€™s about evil intent hiding behind a badge.â€
Steve Shadowen, another attorney for the family stated, â€œWe are very pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Obama Administrationâ€™s assertion that U.S. Border patrol agents can direct fatal gunfire across the southern border without any judicial review.â€
â€œMy son was not a criminal. He was a high school student,â€ said Jesus Hernandez, Sergioâ€™s father, during a phone interview. â€œHe was simply standing on the border of Ciudad Juarez like so many other children often do. The way in which they took his life was beyond cruel.
|Justice for Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca|
I am asking that the Supreme Court stand with me for the dignity of my sonâ€™s life. He was an innocent child who had the right to continue living.â€
â€œDonâ€™t they have children?â€ asked Maria Guereca, in reflecting on how Border Patrol Agent Mesa chose to end her young sonâ€™s life. â€œMy son had many hopes, many dreams to move ahead. They didnâ€™t let him realize his dreams. They killed him. Along with him, they took my life away, because he was everything to me. To lose a child is the saddest and cruelest form of pain. I am simply asking the Supreme Court for justice.â€
In Sergioâ€™s case, the Fifth Circuit initially ruled in favor of Fourth Amendment protections for Sergio, and then vacated a prior panel decision at the request of the government and determined that in fact Hernandez's family couldn't sue under the Fourth Amendment because Hernandez was a Mexican citizen, on Mexican soil and had no "significant voluntary connection" to the U.S. The court disagreed on whether Mesa's actions violated Hernandez's Fifth Amendment due process rights but agreed that any right Hernandez had as a foreign national would not have been clear to Mesa at the time of the shooting. Mesa did not know the nationality of Hernandez when he fired his weapon.The Supreme Court will now decide the issue.
Video Statement from Bob Hilliard regarding todayâ€™s announcement:
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Hilliard MuÃ±oz Gonzales LLP (HMG) specializes in mass torts, personal injury, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death. Hilliard MuÃ±oz Gonzales LLP has been successfully representing clients in the United States and Mexico since 1986. Bob Hilliard obtained the Largest Verdict in the country in 2012 and the #1 verdict in Texas, he currently is co-lead counsel in the single biggest litigation in US history, GMâ€™s ignition switch defect litigation, currently pending in the Southern District of New York.
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