In the execution chamber, his spiritual adviser, Dana Moore, placed his right hand on the inmate’s chest, and held it there for the duration. With his back to witnesses, Moore offered a brief prayer.
“Look upon John with your grace,” he prayed. “Grant him peace. Grant all of us peace.” As Moore’s prayer ended, Ramirez responded: “Amen.”
After the prayer, Ramirez addressed five of Castro’s relatives — including four of his children — as they watched through a window a few feet from him. “I have regret and remorse,” he said.” This is such a heinous act. I hope this finds you comfort. If this helps you, then I am glad.
I hope in some shape or form this helps you find closure.”
Ramirez expressed love to his wife, son and friends, concluding with: “Just know that I fought a good fight, and I am ready to go.”
As the lethal dose of pentobarbital took effect, he took several short breaths then began snoring. Within a minute, all movement stopped. Ramirez was pronounced dead 14 minutes later, at 6:41 p.m. CDT.
John Henry Ramirez, 38, was sentenced to death over the 2004 fatal stabbing of 46-year-old convenience store clerk Pablo Castro during a drug-fueled string of robberies.
His execution date was delayed last year after Ramirez claimed his religious freedom was being violated because state prison rules prevented his pastor from touching him and praying aloud during the procedure.
Ramirez’s fight ended up clarifying the role of spiritual advisers in death chambers nationwide after the US Supreme Court sided with the convicted murderer in March.
The court ruled that states must accommodate the wishes of death row inmates who want to have their religious leaders
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles declined on Monday to commute Ramirez’s death sentence to a lesser penalty.
Ramirez has exhausted all possible appeals and there is no final request to the Supreme Court planned, his attorney Seth Kretzer said.
Ramirez was convicted of stabbing Castro 29 times in a robbery that cops said was the culmination of a three-day binge fueled by a mix of pot, pills, booze and cocaine — and yielded him just $1.25.
He fled to Mexico immediately after but was arrested 3 1/2 years later.
If Ramirez’s execution goes ahead as planned, he would be the third inmate put to death this year in Texas and the 11th in the country.