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Texas death row inmate seeks pastor’s touch at execution

His lawyer says Texas is violating Ramirez’s First Amendment rights to practice his religion.
His lawyer says Texas is violating Ramirez’s First Amendment rights to practice his religion.(Texas Department of Criminal Justice)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 10:02 AM CDT
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HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas death row inmate set to be executed for killing a convenience store worker more than 17 years ago in a robbery that garnered $1.25 is asking that his pastor be allowed to lay hands on him as he dies by lethal injection.

John Henry Ramirez’s request is the latest clash between death row inmates and prison officials in Texas and other states over the presence of spiritual advisers in the death chamber. Ramirez is set to be executed Wednesday for the 2004 killing of 46-year-old Pablo Castro.

His lawyer says Texas is violating Ramirez’s First Amendment rights to practice his religion. The state recently reversed a ban and now allows spiritual advisers in the death chamber.

But there can’t be contact between a prisoner and adviser.

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