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Supreme Court Rules for Condemned Inmate Who Sought Pastor’s Touch

posted on March 29, 2022

Adam Liptak of The New York Times reports, “The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Texas may not for now execute a death row inmate unless his pastor can touch him and pray aloud in the execution chamber.” The inmate, John Henry Ramirez, wanted his pastor to be present with him in his final moments. Only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, citing Ramirez’s legal maneuvers he alleged were designed to delay his execution. In his opinion for the 8-1 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “Ramirez seeks to have his pastor lay hands on him and pray over him during the execution. Both are traditional forms of religious exercise. There is a rich history of clerical prayer at the time of a prisoner’s execution, dating back well before the founding of our nation.”

Read at The New York Times