John Ramirez was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for a robbery murder. According to court documents John Ramirez along with two accomplices Angela Rodriguez and Christina Chavez would murder Pablo Castro during a robbery. John Ramirez would not be arrested until three years later and then he would be convicted and sentenced to death.
John Ramirez 2021 Information
|Name||Ramirez, John Henry|
|Date of Birth||06/29/1984|
|Age (when Received)||24|
|Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)||12|
|Date of Offense||07/19/2004|
|Age (at the time of Offense)||20|
|Height (in Feet and Inches)||5′ 8″|
|Weight (in Pounds)||208|
John Ramirez More News
Ramirez, 32, was convicted in 2009 in the stabbing death of Pablo Castro in Corpus Christi during a 2004 robbery. Castro was stabbed 29 times, and Ramirez wasn’t arrested until more than three years later when he was found near the Mexican border, according to court documents. He was set for execution on Thursday.
The stay comes after two motions were filed last week by federal death penalty attorney Greg Gardner, even though he had no previous experience in the case. The court granted the motions to stop the execution and grant Ramirez new counsel because, the motion claimed, Ramirez’s previous attorney had failed to file a clemency petition.
On Wednesday evening, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay after Texas asked the appellate court to overturn it and move ahead with the execution. The state may still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could toss out the stay by Thursday evening when the execution was scheduled.
On July 19, 2004, Ramirez and two women, Angela Rodriguez and Christina Chavez, were driving around in a van looking for people to rob for drug money when they spotted Castro taking the trash out from the convenience store where he worked, according to an opinion by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Rodriguez and Ramirez approached Castro, and Ramirez slashed his throat and repeatedly stabbed him in his head, neck, shoulders and back, according to court records.
Rodriguez went through his pockets and came back to the van with $1.25, according to Chavez’s testimony. The two woman were found the night of the murder appearing high and drunk, records stated.
Rodriguez is currently serving a life sentence for murder, and Chavez pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and got a 25-year sentence, according to prison records. She became eligible for parole in January.
Ramirez evaded arrest until Feb. 20, 2008, when he was found near the Texas-Mexico border. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death; he’s been on death row for almost eight years.
In the recent motions filed Friday, Ramirez claimed his previous appellate attorney abandoned him by not filing a clemency petition, a motion commonly filed in capital cases to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the governor asking for a stay of execution or commutation to life in prison
John Ramirez Execution Delayed
John Ramirez is scheduled to be executed on September 8, 2021. John Ramirez has filed a lawsuit to get a stay of execution as he wants for his Pastor to physically touch him during the execution which under current Texas law is not allowed.
John Ramirez Execution
A Texas death row inmate whose case redefined the role of spiritual advisers in death chambers nationwide was executed Wednesday, despite the efforts of a district attorney to stop his lethal injection.
John Henry Ramirez, 38, was executed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was convicted of killing 46-year-old Pablo Castro in 2004, as he took out the trash while working at a convenience store in Corpus Christi.
Prosecutors said Ramirez robbed Castro of $1.25 then stabbed him 29 times. Castro’s killing took place during a series of robberies conducted by Ramirez and two women following a three-day drug binge. Ramirez fled to Mexico but was arrested 3½ years later.
Ramirez challenged state prison rules that prevented his pastor from touching him and praying aloud during his execution, saying his religious freedom was being violated. That challenge led to his execution being delayed as well as the executions of others.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ramirez, saying states must accommodate the wishes of death row inmates who want to have their faith leaders pray and touch them during their executions.
On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously declined to commute Ramirez’s death sentence to a lesser penalty. According to his attorney, Ramirez had exhausted all possible appeals and no final request to halt the execution was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lead prosecutor at Ramirez’s trial in 2008, Mark Skurka, said it was unfair that Ramirez had someone praying over him as he died when Castro didn’t have the same opportunity.
“It has been a long time coming, but Pablo Castro will probably finally get the justice that his family has sought for so long, despite the legal delays,” said Skurka, who later served as Nueces County district attorney before retiring.
Ramirez’s attorney, Seth Kretzer, said while he feels empathy for Castro’s family, his client’s challenge was about protecting religious freedoms for all. Ramirez was not asking for something new but something that has been part of jurisprudence throughout history, Kretzer said. He said even Nazi war criminals were provided ministers before their executions after World War II.
“That was not a reflection on some favor we were doing for the Nazis,” Kretzer said. “Providing religious administration at the time of death is a reflection of the relative moral strength of the captors.”
Kretzer said Ramirez’s spiritual adviser, Dana Moore, was also allowed to hold a Bible in the death chamber, which hadn’t been permitted before.
Ramirez’s case took another turn in April when current Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez asked a judge to withdraw the death warrant and delay the execution, saying it had been requested by mistake. Gonzalez said he considers the death penalty “unethical.”
During a nearly 20-minute Facebook live video, Gonzalez said he believes the death penalty is one of the “many things wrong with our justice system.” Gonzalez said he would not seek the death penalty while he remains in office.
He did not return a phone call or email seeking comment.
Also in April, four of Castro’s children filed a motion asking that Ramirez’s execution order be left in place.
“I want my father to finally have his justice as well as the peace to finally move on with my life and let this nightmare be over,” Fernando Castro, one of his sons, said in the motion.
In June, a judge declined Gonzalez’ request to withdraw Wednesday’s execution date. Last month, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declined to even consider the request.
Ramirez was the third inmate put to death this year in Texas and the 11th in the U.S. Two more executions are scheduled this year in Texas, both in November.