A Texas man convicted of the 2004 robbery and murder of a Corpus Christi store clerk is scheduled to be executed today. John Ramirez won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last March requiring states to accommodate condemned murderers’ requests to have their faith leaders to prey and hold their hands in the execution chamber. The Associated Press reports that the Texas Board of Pardons unanimously declined to commute Ramirez’s death sentence on Monday. During a three-day drug binge, Ramirez and two female accomplices were looking for someone to rob in order to buy more drugs. The spotted store clerk Pablo Castro emptying garbage in a convenience store parking lot and attacked him. Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times, then took $1.25 from the dead man’s pocket. Nearby witnesses saw the entire incident. Later, Ramirez held a knife to the throat of a young mother at a drive through and stole her purse and tried to rob anther woman at another drive through, who managed to escape. CJLF filed argument in Ramirez v. Collier urging the court to restrict civil lawsuits of this kind unless the plaintiff can show great and immediate, irreparable injury. The Foundations brief is available here.
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