6. In this case, the Commission made itself available to assist the parties in reaching a friendly settlement but none expressed their interest in such procedure. III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES A. Position of the petitioners 7. The petitioners indicated that the alleged victims were subjected to a criminal procedure for the rape and killing of Sonia Marisol Álvarez García, a girl. They indicated that on October 4, 1993, the First Court of the First Criminal Instance sentenced the alleged victims to death and they were executed by means of a firing squad on September 13, 1996. 8. The petitioners stated they complied with the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies as they appealed the conviction on December 1, 1993. The appeal was submitted before the Twelfth Chamber of the Appeal Court, which upheld the original ruling. Also, on September 27, 1994, they filed an extraordinary cassation appeal before the Supreme Court of Justice, which was dismissed as well. On June 9, 1995, they lodged an amparo constitutional remedy against the aforementioned decision, which was dismissed by the Constitutional Court on November 7, 1995. Subsequently, they requested a Presidential Pardon on July 17, 1996, which was denied that same day. Finally, on August 23, 1996, they applied for judicial review which was rejected in full by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice on August 29, 1996. 9. On the basis of the information provided by both parties, the specifics of the facts and proceedings of the case will be referred to in the factual analysis of the Commission. In this section, a summary of the main arguments put forward during the merits stage is presented. 10. The petitioners alleged that in the context of the criminal proceedings that led to the conviction of the alleged victims, the State incurred various violations of the Rights to a Fair Trial and to Judicial Protection which can be summarized as the following: (a) for 10 days, at the beginning of the process, in which fundamental proceedings took place, they did not have legal defense; (b) subsequently, legal representation was provided by law students who did not have the experience or the time necessary to prepare an adequate defense; (c) during the trial stage they were not allowed to cross-examine witnesses who testified during the investigation stage; and (d) the judge failed to establish the individual responsibility of each defendant. 11. The petitioners argued that the Right to Life was violated because the death penalty sentence requires strict observance of judicial guarantees, which was not met in this case, and therefore, there was an arbitrary deprivation of the life of the alleged victims. 12. They alleged that the Right to Humane Treatment was breached because the execution by firing squad of the alleged victims was aired on television, as an act of humiliation to them. They also argued that, despite the fact there was an initial shooting by twenty members of the security forces of the penitentiary system, there was the need for an additional fatal shot to kill one of the alleged victims who did not die as a result of the initial shootings. 13. The petitioners pointed out that the State breached its duty to adopt provisions to give Domestic Legal Effects to the rights and freedoms of the Convention because the then in force Code of Criminal Proceedings granted investigative functions to the judge, which breached the guarantee of an independent and impartial judge. 14. Finally, they referred to the violation to the Obligation to Respect Rights, enshrined in Article 1(1) of the American Convention as the actions afore-mentioned show the State did not comply with its duty to respect the rights and freedoms of the alleged victims. 2

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