© Reuters. A mugshot of John Henry Ramirez who is ready to be executed in Texas October 5, is seen on this undated handout image. Texas Division of Prison Justice/Handout by way of REUTERS
By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) -A Texas inmate on the heart of a authorized battle over non secular rights of condemned prisoners in the US was put to dying on Wednesday for the 2004 stabbing homicide of a comfort retailer clerk.
John Henry Ramirez was pronounced useless at 6:41 p.m. central time within the state’s dying chamber in Huntsville, the Texas Division of Prison Justice stated in a written assertion.
Ramirez gained by means of the U.S. Supreme Court docket the correct to have his Christian pastor lay fingers on him and audibly pray as he died by deadly injection. It was not instantly clear if that happened.
Ramirez, 38, was sentenced to dying for the deadly stabbing of Pablo Castro in Corpus Christi throughout a theft in 2004 that netted him $1.25.
Ramirez in his remaining phrases stated he had “remorse and regret” over his deeds and advised the Castro household that he hoped his execution would assist them discover closure.
The execution happened seven months after the Supreme Court docket dominated 8-1 in Ramirez’s favor in his case in opposition to the state of Texas, which rejected his request for pastoral contact and prayer whereas he dies.
The case centered on non secular protections beneath the First Modification of the U.S. Structure and a 2000 federal legislation that requires officers to point out a compelling curiosity to disclaim a prisoner’s religious-based request and to take action utilizing the least restrictive means.
Texas argued that the presence of a pastor within the execution chamber might compromise safety. The state additionally stated that outsiders touching inmates might disrupt intravenous traces, and audible prayer might intervene with officers’ potential to observe for indicators of misery.
Ramirez was sentenced to dying in 2008 for the homicide of Castro, a father of 9 who labored nights at a comfort retailer within the southern Texas metropolis of Corpus Christi. Looking for cash to purchase medication, Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 instances and made off with $1.25 on July 19, 2004, prosecutors stated.
Ramirez has been a member of the Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. Pastor Dana Moore has recurrently pushed about 300 miles (480 km) north to Livingston to wish with Ramirez in jail.