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Texas prosecutor moves to stop ‘unethical’ execution of John Henry Ramirez

April 16 (UPI) — A prosecutor in Texas has filed court documents to remove the death warrant for John Henry Ramirez in a bid to stop his execution in October.

Nueces County District Attorney Mark A. Gonzalez filed documents with the 94th District Court seeking an order withdrawing the execution date, which has been set for Oct. 5 by lethal injection, and recalling the death warrant.

“The undersigned District Attorney for Nueces County has the firm belief that the death penalty is unethical and should not be imposed on Mr. Ramirez or any other person while the undersigned occupies the office in question,” the motion reads.

“The Assistant District Attorney who most recently moved for an execution date in this cause was not aware of my desire in this matter and did not consult me prior to moving for an execution date.”

Gonzalez, a Democrat, assumed office in 2016 and his term as district attorney ends in December 2024. His successor would be able to reinstate the death warrant.

Ramirez, 37, was found guilty of murdering convenience store worker Pablo Castro, having stabbed him 29 times, during a robbery in Corpus Christi in July 2004 before fleeing to Mexico until he was caught near the border in 2008.

Gonzalez has seemingly had an ambiguous stance on the death penalty since he was first elected but has recently started pushing prosecutors in his office to no longer seek the death penalty in new cases, The New York Times noted.

Seth Kretzer, a lawyer for Ramirez, told The New York Times that he was happy with the prosecutor’s decision but noted that it appeared to be an about-face as Gonzalez’ office had previously issued three death warrants on his client.

“Once an office has made a decision to do one course of action, usually they don’t undo it helter-skelter,” Kretzer said.

Fernando Castro, the victim’s son, criticized the decision by Gonzalez as “outrageous” in comments to The New York Times and said he was 11 years old when his father was murdered.

“I’d like to talk to this guy face to face and give him a piece of my mind,” Castro said.

Last year, Ramirez was within hours of being executed when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a last-minute ruling that directed the state to allow Dana Moore, a Baptist pastor, to lay hands on him and pray with him as he was to be put to death.

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