By JUAN A. LOZANO, Related Press
HOUSTON (AP) — 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 concerning the position of non secular 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 docket agreed to evaluation his problem of state guidelines that will have prevented his pastor from touching him and praying aloud throughout his execution.
However two days after a demise warrant was issued, Nueces County District Lawyer Mark Gonzalez requested for the order to be withdrawn, saying his workplace mistakenly requested an execution date. In a court docket movement, Gonzalez mentioned he “has the agency perception that the demise penalty is unethical and shouldn’t be imposed on Mr. Ramirez or some other individual whereas (Gonzalez) occupies (his) workplace.”
However throughout a court docket listening to over Zoom Tuesday, state District Choose Bobby Galvan in Corpus Christi, who signed the demise warrant scheduling the execution, mentioned 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 unsure that I’ve the facility to take action and for that motive I’m not going to withdraw the warrant,” Galvan mentioned.
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, mentioned he and Gonzalez deliberate to file a joint movement interesting Galvan’s choice to the Texas Court docket of Legal Appeals, the state’s highest legal court docket.
“It’s unprecedented for an unopposed/joint movement to withdraw a demise warrant to be denied,” Kretzer mentioned.
Gonzalez mentioned he holds Galvan “within the highest regard” and that he’ll comply with the decide’s recommendation to attraction.
“We’re in unchartered waters and even judges typically welcome steering or solutions from greater courts,” Gonzalez mentioned in an announcement.
Throughout an almost 20-minute Fb dwell video in April, Gonzalez mentioned he believed the demise penalty is without doubt one of the “many issues fallacious with our justice system.”
“I don’t really feel that the federal government ought to have that energy to place folks to demise as a result of traditionally, these people which have been put to demise have been of coloration, of low financial standing and even low mind,” Gonzalez mentioned.
4 of Castro’s kids 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 kids for almost twenty years.”
In a letter, the Texas Lawyer Basic’s Workplace mentioned Gonzalez’s “shifting moral place” was not a legit motive to withdraw the order.
Ramirez, 37, had been set for execution on Sept. 8, 2021, however the U.S. Supreme Court docket blocked his execution and agreed to take up his case to deal with the position of non secular advisers within the demise chamber.
In March, the court docket mentioned states should accommodate the desires of demise row inmates who need to have their religion leaders pray and contact them throughout their executions. Following the excessive court docket’s ruling, the Texas Division of Legal Justice mentioned it could work to grant requests relating to non secular advisers until they current a considerable safety threat or are “outrageous.”
Throughout Tuesday’s listening to, Galvan questioned what would occur if he refused a prosecution request to set an execution date.
“I may refuse however I don’t assume I’d have the authority to cease the execution,” Galvan mentioned.
Such a situation is presently earlier than the Texas Court docket of Legal Appeals. Prosecutors in Harris County, the place Houston is situated, are interesting a decide’s refusal to set an execution date for demise row inmate Arthur Brown.
Final 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.
Comply with Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70
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