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Contact, consolation and the prayers of clergy at executions — GetReligion

The U.S. Supreme Court docket will hear spiritual freedom arguments Tuesday within the case of a Texas death-row inmate named John Henry Ramirez.

Ramirez, 37, needs his Southern Baptist pastor to put fingers on him and pray earlier than and through his execution. The state of Texas gained’t permit it.

Time journal’s Madeleine Carlisle provides a nice overview of the case.

“The job of a minister is to not stand nonetheless and be quiet,” Dana Moore, the inmate’s pastor, tells Time. “Prayer is essential. And the ability of contact is actual. It’s encouraging. It brings peace. It’s vital… Why can’t I maintain his hand?”

In an August interview with New York Times religion writer Ruth Graham, Ramirez took accountability for killing Corpus Christi comfort retailer clerk Pablo Castro, calling Castro’s 2004 demise a “heinous homicide.” (As noted by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Ramirez “beat and kicked Castro and stabbed him 29 occasions with a 6-inch serrated knife.” He and two feminine accomplices left the scene with $1.25.)

“It might simply be comforting,” Ramirez mentioned of wanting Moore by his aspect on the time of his deadly injection.

At The Related Press, religion writer David Crary explains that the “ACLU has a protracted historical past of opposing the demise penalty and in addition says that condemned prisoners, even in the intervening time of execution, have spiritual rights.”

Conservative church-state activists have been concerned on this case, and others prefer it, since Day 1.

“Intriguingly, the ACLU’s place within the Ramirez case is echoed by some conservative spiritual teams which assist the demise penalty and are sometimes at odds with the ACLU on different points,” Crary experiences.

For extra on the case, see protection by Christianity Today’s Daniel Silliman, the Baptist Standard’s Ken Camp and AP’s Juan A. Lozano.

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