John Henry Ramirez is on demise row for killing a Corpus Christi comfort retailer employee throughout a 2004 theft.
HOUSTON — A Texas decide on Tuesday denied a request by a district legal professional who known as capital punishment “unethical” to withdraw the execution date of a demise row inmate whose case had raised authorized questions in regards to the function of religious advisers within the demise chamber.
On April 12, an order was signed setting John Henry Ramirez’s execution for Oct. 5. Ramirez’s execution had been placed on maintain a number of occasions, most not too long ago after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to evaluation his problem of state guidelines that might have prevented his pastor from touching him and praying aloud throughout his execution.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The above video initially aired September 2021.
But two days after a demise warrant was issued, Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez requested for the order to be withdrawn, saying his office mistakenly requested an execution date. In a court docket movement, Gonzalez stated he “has the agency perception that the demise penalty is unethical and shouldn’t be imposed on Mr. Ramirez or some other particular person whereas (Gonzalez) occupies (his) office.
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But throughout a court docket listening to over Zoom Tuesday, state District Judge Bobby Galvan in Corpus Christi, who signed the demise warrant scheduling the execution, stated he believed Ramirez’s case has reached some extent at which the setting of an execution date is warranted.
“So, Mr. Gonzalez, I respectfully disagree with you. I’m not sure that I have the power to do so and for that reason I’m not going to withdraw the warrant,” Galvan stated.
Ramirez is on demise row for killing a Corpus Christi comfort retailer employee throughout a 2004 theft. Ramirez stabbed Pablo Castro 29 occasions and robbed him of $1.25.
After the listening to, Ramirez’s legal professional, Seth Kretzer, stated he and Gonzalez deliberate to file a joint movement interesting Galvan’s choice to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest legal court docket.
“It is unprecedented for an unopposed/joint motion to withdraw a death warrant to be denied,” Kretzer stated.
Gonzalez stated he holds Galvan “within the highest regard” and that he’ll observe the decide’s recommendation to attraction.
“We are in unchartered waters and even judges typically welcome steerage or solutions from greater courts,” Gonzalez stated in a press release.
During an almost 20-minute Facebook reside video in April, Gonzalez stated he believed the demise penalty is likely one of the “many things wrong with our justice system.”
“I don’t feel that the government should have that power to put people to death because historically, those individuals that have been put to death have been of color, of low economic status or even low intellect,” Gonzalez stated.
Four of Castro’s youngsters filed a movement asking Ramirez’s execution order to be left in place, “ending an ordeal that has denied peace and closure to Pablo Castro’s children for nearly twenty years.”
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In a letter, the Texas Attorney General’s Office stated Gonzalez’s “shifting ethical position” was not a legit cause to withdraw the order.
Ramirez, 37, had been set for execution on Sept. 8, 2021, however the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his execution and agreed to take up his case to deal with the function of religious advisers within the demise chamber.
In March, the court said states should accommodate the wishes of death row inmates who wish to have their religion leaders pray and contact them throughout their executions. Following the excessive court docket’s ruling, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it could work to grant requests relating to religious advisers except they current a considerable safety danger or are “outrageous.”
During Tuesday’s listening to, Galvan questioned what would occur if he refused a prosecution request to set an execution date.
“I could refuse but I don’t think I would have the authority to stop the execution,” Galvan stated.
Such a situation is at the moment earlier than the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Prosecutors in Harris County, the place Houston is positioned, are interesting a decide’s refusal to set an execution date for demise row inmate Arthur Brown.
Last month, Houston decide Natalia Cornelio declined to approve a request by prosecutors to set an Aug. 31 execution date for Brown. Cornelio as a substitute granted a request by Brown to discover a new legal professional who can examine if he’s intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution.