Death Row murderer asks for human contact as strange last request

A death-row inmate who stabbed someone 29 times for $1 has sued prison officials demanding his pastor lays his hands on him as he dies from lethal injection.

John Henry Ramirez, 37, a former Marine and a devout Protestant, has been on Texas death row since 2009 and is scheduled to be executed on September 8.

He was put away for stabbing Pablo Castro 29 times with a serrated knife in a horrific murder in Corpus Christi back in 2004.

The laying of hands is a symbolic act for Protestants where a religious leader places their hands on a person to pass over spiritual blessing.

In legal action filed on Tuesday, a judge was asked to allow Ramirez's spiritual advisor to be present in the death chamber for his execution and lay his hands on him as he dies, MailOnline reports.

To deny Pastor Dana Moore from doing this to Ramirez is a violation of the first amendment right, according to the lawsuit.

Ramirez has already dodged execution twice in the past, one in 2017 so he could receive a new attorney and again in September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit refers to Patrick Murphy's execution that had a 2018 US Supreme Court issued that said it could not go ahead unless his Buddhist spiritual advisor was allowed into the chamber.

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Murphy has not yet received a new execution date.

Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times during a robbery that led to him and his accomplices pocketing a measly $1.25, according to court documents.

In a 2018 BBC interview from prison, Ramirez said he, Angela Rodriguez and Christina Chavez were driving around smoking weed, taking cocaine, prescription drugs and drinking copious amounts of vodka that night.

He told BBC that Rodriguez was fighting with a man and he got involved in the altercation to try to separate them.

"I had stabbed him in the neck," Ramirez said.

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"There was like real aggressive gurgling sound. That's what kind of snapped me out of it, and I saw how hurt he was and he was bleeding everywhere. I was just like, 'Oh man. I went too far.'"

The killer told the BBC that he grew up surrounded by abuse and gang activity, which led to him joining the Marines.

Ramirez claimed that his military training took over during the drugged blackout.

"They teach you to kill a person in the fastest way possible. They teach you to kill shot. That's what we call it, which is a lot of places I ended up hitting Pablo," Ramirez said.

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"I hit him in the heart. I hit him in the neck. I hit him in the groin. I hit him in the lung."

Despite the anger at the prison's reluctance to allow his Pastor into the execution chamber with him – Ramirez says he is ready for death.

"I really do want to get the hell out of here," he told The New York Times.

He went on: "I know where I’m heading anyways. I know what I believe in."

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