Entries tagged with “John Henry Ramirez

Facts & Research

Religion

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Nov 10, 2021

A Divided Supreme Court Appears Troubled by Texas Death Penalty Religious Freedom Case

The United States Supreme Court heard argu­ment November 9, 2021 to review Texas death-row pris­on­er John Henry Ramirezs claim that the state’s refusal to allow his pas­tor to lay hands” on him or pray audi­bly dur­ing his exe­cu­tion vio­lates the fed­er­al Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and his First Amendment right to the free exer­cise of reli­gion. The Court appeared trou­bled by Ramirez’s reli­gious free­dom claims, but some con­ser­v­a­tive jus­tices open­ly wor­ried that rul­ing for Ramirez (pic­tured) would open a flood­gate of last-minute exe­cu­tion-relat­ed lit­i­ga­tion at the Supreme…

State & Federal Info

Military

,

Nov 10, 2023

A Veterans Day Review: Uneven Progress Understanding the Role of Military Service in Capital Crimes

In 2015, DPIC’s Battle Scars report brought world­wide atten­tion to the issue of mil­i­tary vet­er­ans on death row. DPIC found approx­i­mate­ly 300 vet­er­ans incar­cer­at­ed under a sen­tence of death, rep­re­sent­ing at least 10% of death row, and many more who had been exe­cut­ed. Since that report, research and under­stand­ing about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI), sub­stance use dis­or­ders, and men­tal ill­ness among vet­er­ans has only grown. A 2023 sur­vey of mem­bers of the Wounded Warrior Project found that 76% of ser­vice­mem­bers who incurred a men­tal or physical…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court

,

Federal Death Penalty

,

Oct 03, 2023

Analysis Shows Supreme Court’s Changing View of Death Penalty Cases

A recent analy­sis by Bloomberg Law con­clud­ed that death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers have few­er avenues to relief at the Supreme Court than ever before. Bloomberg iden­ti­fied 270 emer­gency requests to stay exe­cu­tions since 2013 and found that the Court agreed to block an exe­cu­tion just 11 times. Since 2020, when the Court shift­ed to a 6 – 3 con­ser­v­a­tive major­i­ty fol­low­ing the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the appoint­ment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Court has grant­ed just two stays of exe­cu­tion. One, for John Henry Ramirez, chal­lenged not the execution…

Facts & Research

Religion

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Upcoming Executions

,

Sep 07, 2021

Condemned Prisoner Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Stay His Execution Unless Texas Corrections Officials Permit His Religious Advisor to Lay on Hands’ While He is Being Put to Death

Texas death-row pris­on­er John Ramirez (pic­tured) is ask­ing the United States Supreme Court to stay his September 8, 2021 exe­cu­tion, argu­ing that the state’s refusal to allow his pas­tor to pray out loud with him and lay hands on him while he is being exe­cut­ed vio­lates fed­er­al law and his First Amendment right to free exer­cise of religion.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

,

Upcoming Executions

,

May 27, 2022

Controversy Over Texas Executions as Houston Judge Refuses to Issue Death Warrant and Attorney General Fights Nueces County D.A.’s Effort to Withdraw Another

The fates of two men sub­ject to poten­tial­ly immi­nent exe­cu­tion in Texas hang in the bal­ance, as the state’s attor­ney gen­er­al and one local pros­e­cu­tor chal­lenge the dis­cre­tion of oth­er key offi­cials not to move for­ward with exe­cu­tions. The con­tro­ver­sy over the exe­cu­tion dates high­lights emerg­ing ten­sions between pros­e­cu­tors about enforce­ment of death sen­tences and the pro­vi­sion of fair process before a pris­on­er is executed.

Policy Issues

Representation

,

Feb 02, 2017

Federal Court Stays Texas Execution After Appeal Lawyer Abandons Prisoner

A Texas fed­er­al appeals court has upheld the rul­ing by a U.S. dis­trict court judge to stay the exe­cu­tion of John Henry Ramirez, who had been sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed in Texas on February 2. The District Court had ruled that Ramirez was enti­tled to a stay so new lawyers could seek clemen­cy on his behalf after Michael Gross, the lawyer ini­tial­ly appoint­ed to rep­re­sent Ramirez in his state and fed­er­al habeas cor­pus pro­ceed­ings, had failed to file a clemen­cy peti­tion and left Ramirez effec­tive­ly with­out coun­sel” at the time…

Policy Issues

Representation

,

Religion

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Oct 26, 2021

Supreme Court Moves Arguments in Death Penalty Cases to Hear Texas Abortion Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has pushed back argu­ments in three death-penal­ty cas­es so it can expe­dite con­sid­er­a­tion of two cas­es involv­ing Texas’ restric­tive abor­tion statute. To hear argu­ment in United States v. Texas and Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson on November 1, 2021, the court resched­uled argu­ment in Ramirez (John) v. Collier and Shinn v. Ramirez (David) and Jones. The Court will now hear argu­ment in Ramirez v. Collier on November 9, 2021, and in Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones on December 82021.

Facts & Research

Religion

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Mar 25, 2022

Supreme Court Rules that Texas Must Allow Death-Row Prisoner’s Pastor to Touch and Pray Over Him During His Execution

On March 24, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed low­er court orders that had denied a Texas death-row prisoner’s request for his pas­tor to touch him and audi­bly pray dur­ing his exe­cu­tion. In rul­ing for John Henry Ramirez (pic­tured), the Court empha­sized Texas’ abil­i­ty to pre­vent any delay of his exe­cu­tion by sim­ply cre­at­ing rea­son­able pro­ce­dures to allow Ramirez the accom­mo­da­tions he seeks. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opin­ion of the court, joined by sev­en oth­er Justices. Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dis­senter, char­ac­ter­iz­ing Ramirez’s pur­suit of post-con­vic­tion litigation…

Facts & Research

Religion

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Executions Overview

,

Sep 09, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Stays Texas Execution, Agrees to Review Contours of the Right to Religious Exercise in the Execution Chamber

In an after-hours order issued on September 8, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court halt­ed Texass planned exe­cu­tion of John Henry Ramirez and agreed to review his claim that the state’s refusal to allow his pas­tor to lay hands” on him or pray audi­bly dur­ing the exe­cu­tion vio­lat­ed fed­er­al law and his First Amendment right to the free exer­cise of religion.

Executions

Methods of Execution

,

Oct 24, 2023

Use of Nitrogen Hypoxia for Alabama Executions Could Endanger Spiritual Advisors and Prison Staff in the Execution Chamber

In August 2023, Alabama released the first-ever exe­cu­tion pro­to­col for nitro­gen hypox­ia, an untest­ed exe­cu­tion method in which pris­on­ers will be put to death by suf­fo­ca­tion as they are forced to breathe pure nitro­gen gas. Alabama’s heav­i­ly redact­ed pro­to­col pro­vides that pris­on­ers will be fit­ted with a mask and breath­ing tube to con­trol the gas, which will slow­ly deprive them of oxy­gen. However, use of this untest­ed method may also pose dan­gers to spir­i­tu­al advi­sors and prison staff in the exe­cu­tion chamber.