A Texas Death Row Inmate Is Suing to Have His Pastor Lay Hands on Him as He Dies

John Henry Ramirez is on death row in Texas and is scheduled to be executed on September 8. Now, he is suing prison officials to allow his pastor to lay hands on him as the lethal injection is administered.

On Tuesday, Ramirez’s lawyers said that state prison officials had refused their clients request to have his pastor, Dana Moore, lay hands on him as he dies. Moore is the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, and has been ministering to Ramirez for about five years, according to the lawsuit.

In 2019, the Supreme Court granted Patrick Murphy a stay of execution unless his own spiritual advisor, a Buddhist spiritual leader, was allowed in the execution chamber. A new execution date has not been set.

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Ramirez was sent to death row for the 2004 stabbing of a convenience store worker named Pablo Castro. His execution has been stayed twice before, first in 2017 when he asked for a new attorney and then again last year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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