A death row convict in Texas wants to exercise his religious beliefs in his last moments as his lawyers have sued the state demanding granting of his last rights and preventing him from freely exercising his religious beliefs in his final moments.
The convict, John Henry Ramirez (37yrs), is scheduled to be executed in less than a month on Sept. 8. He has been convicted of playing a role in the murder of Pablo Castro in 2004.
Castro was killed by Ramirez while committing a robbery along with his two accomplices to find the money for taking drugs. According to the Associated Press, the robbery attempt resulted in the trio laying hands on just $1.25.
Castro was beaten and stabbed 29 times by Ramirez before exiting the crime scene, according to the Corpus Christie Caller-Times. The women who were involved in the incident were arrested the same evening as the crime and were later convicted, according to a Texas Tribune report.
Ramirez was arrested only in 2008. The court trial convicted him of murdering Castro and the capital punishment was delivered to him a year later. During the sentencing phase, Ramirez’s layer was ordered by the court to stop presenting mitigation evidence on the convict’s behalf.
Ramirez began appealing his case in 2011 after he was reportedly requested by his mother and a half-sister, of whom he was previously unaware of, to appeal against the death sentence instead of rush his own execution, according to the Caller-Times. Reports also suggested that Ramirez had become spiritual by this time and openly acknowledged that.
“I found God a long time ago but I’m not gonna turn holy roller since I ruined my life,” the Caller-Times reported Ramirez told a psychologist who examined him while he was initially trying to speed his own execution in early 2011. “God ain’t going save me.”
Courts at both the state and federal level turned down his consequent appeals for a reversal of the death sentence and his previous execution date was set for February 2017. However, Ramirez’s a layer was successful in arguing his case in court about his previous lawyer abandoning him as the lawyer had not filed the standard clemency petition even after his execution order in the meantime and federal courts stayed his execution. The court had given him time to find a new lawyer.
Eventually, his execution was set for Sept. 9, 2020. But according to the Associated Press., a Texas judge postponed that date to August 14, 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now that his execution data is fixed for Sept. 8, Ramirez has now asked the court to allow his spiritual advisor, Pastor Dana Moore of the Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christie to accompany him in while he is taken to the execution chamber and stay there till his execution I completed so that the ritual laying on of hands as Ramirez dies could be conducted.
The initial appeal was turned down by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prompting his lawyer to file a case.