Court Delays Texas Execution Over Lawyer Issue

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Today’s scheduled execution of a Texas inmate remains delayed after a ruling from a federal appeals court, reports the Dallas Morning News. John Henry Ramirez, 32, was to be executed for the 2004 slaying of 45-year-old Pablo Castro during a robbery in Corpus Christi. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Neeva Gonzales Ramos halted the scheduled execution, ruling that Ramirez’s previous lawyer left him “effectively without counsel” and there wasn’t enough time to consider the appeal before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to get the reprieve reversed. “This is not abandonment; it is gamesmanship,” Assistant Texas Attorney General Jennifer Morris wrote. “It is a run-of-the-mill, last-ditch attempt to thwart his execution.” A three-judge panel let the order to halt the execution stand. In a prison interview, Ramos told KRIS-TV that he’d turned to drugs after being abused as a child. “I was so high on all those drugs and on alcohol, and you know I got so mad I guess,” he said. “It was so, so quick man. And I knew, I knew that I went too far when I saw him fall down bleeding.”

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