HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas death row inmate has won a reprieve from execution for killing a convenience store worker during a 2004 robbery that garnered $1.25.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked the lethal injection of John Henry Ramirez after his attorney argued the state was violating his religious freedom by not letting his pastor lay hands on him at the time of his lethal injection.
Ramirez is condemned for fatally stabbing 46-year-old Pablo Castro, who worked at a Corpus Christi convenience store.
The request by Ramirez is the latest clash between death row inmates and prison officials in Texas and other states over the presence of spiritual advisers in the death chamber.
The Texas Tribune says the Supreme Court asked that oral arguments be made before the court in either October or November.
Aaron Castro, the son of Pablo Castro, expressed his frustration with the delays prior to the Supreme Court's decision.
"Honestly, if he wants a priest to bless him before he's sent off, by all means, go ahead. That doesn't affect me one bit. What affects me is why this process continues to get delayed time and time again. He is clearly taking the Department of Justice for a two-a-ride and they're paying his fare," Castro told Scripps station KRIS.
Castro's family was in the prison waiting for the execution to be carried out when the Supreme Court granted the stay, the Texas Tribune Reports.