Killer to be executed after winning case so pastor will pray for him

Killer to be executed after winning Supreme Court battle so pastor can pray for him while he gets an injection

Caption: Killer to be executed after winning Supreme Court battle so pastor can pray for him while he’s injected (Image: AP)

A death row inmate is set to be executed while a Christian pastor prays and touches him after winning a legal battle over the religious rights of people facing execution.

John Henry Ramirez, 38, won a Supreme Court case asking for prayer for inmates facing the death penalty, but his request to have his death sentence commuted to a lesser sentence was denied. As a result, Ramirez was scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. local time in Texas.

Ramirez’s execution date last year was postponed because he argued his freedom of religion had been violated because state prison rules forbade a pastor from praying and touching him during his then-scheduled execution.

In March, the Supreme Court sided with Ramirez, ruling that states must honor the wishes of death row inmates to have religious leaders accompany them to their execution.

The decision highlighted the role spiritual advisors play in death chambers across the country.

Ramirez received the death penalty for fatally stabbing grocery store clerk Pablo Castro, 46, in 2004. Castro was carrying the trash out of a store in Corpus Christi when Ramirez stole $1.25 from him and stabbed him more than three dozen times, prosecutors said.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously declined Monday to commute Ramirez’s sentence. Ramirez has exhausted the appeals process, his attorney said, and has no plans to file another petition with the Supreme Court.

Ramirez’s attorney, Seth Kretzer, said Nazi war criminals were given ministers before they were executed.

“This was not a reflection on a favor we were doing for the Nazis,” Kretzer said. “The provision of religious administration at the time of death reflects the relative moral strength of the kidnappers.”

Ramirez’s spiritual advisor, Dana Moore, will keep a Bible in the death chamber, which was previously not allowed, Kretzer added.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/06/murderer-to-be-executed-after-winning-case-for-pastor-to-pray-over-him-17512287/ Killer to be executed after winning case so pastor will pray for him

Justin Scacco

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