(Washington) The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Wednesday on a death row inmate who wishes to be touched by his pastor on his way from life to death.
Posted on Sep 8, 2021 at 11:02 am
Unless the judiciary gives him a last minute reprieve, John Ramirez, 37, will have a fatal injection that evening, 17 years after stabbing a shop clerk in a burglary in the conservative south of the state.
As a member of a Baptist church, he asked in court that his pastor could put his hands on his body and pray aloud during the execution.
The Texas prison authorities allow a spiritual advisor to be present in the death chamber, but for “security reasons” he must remain silent and keep his distance.
After suffering setbacks in the first instance and on appeal, John Ramirez appealed to the United States Supreme Court on Monday to seek suspension of his execution pending a decision.
His Pastor Dana Moore of Second Baptist Church “declared under oath that laying hands on a dying man and saying his prayers during the transition from life to death was an integral part of the rites he gave to John Ramirez in the part of hers shared belief, ”explained his lawyers.
The Supreme Court, which includes six out of nine Conservative judges, was sometimes sensitive to the religious arguments of those sentenced to death.
At its 2020-2021 session, it gave the green light to almost all executions planned by federal or state authorities, with the exception of those convicted who had a chaplain removed from the death chamber.
If it doesn’t give John Ramirez respite, he’ll be the sixth convict executed in the United States this year.