Condemned prisoner Jose Medellin looked to the U.S. federal courts to keep him from the death chamber Tuesday for his part in the gang rape, beating and strangling of two teenage girls 15 years ago.

The Mexican-born Medellin, 33, faces lethal injection in a case that has drawn international attention after he raised arguments that he hadn’t been allowed to consult the Mexican consulate for legal help after he was arrested in the girls’ murders.