News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

USA News

Death row inmate granted right for priest to lay hands and pray during execution

by Sophie Drew
Prisoner.jpg - Banner image

The US Supreme Court has granted a death row inmate the right to have a priest at his side as he is executed. 

John Ramirez, who is currently imprisoned in Texas, had his initial request denied by the state. 

The 37-year-old was due to face execution in September 2020, but plans were halted just hours before the process was set to begin. 

Ramirez was sentenced to death for the robbery and fatal stabbing of a shop clerk in 2004.

The Supreme Court has found that the decision to deny Ramirez access to a priest encroaches on his religious liberties.

The pastor will now be able to lay hands on him and pray over him as he dies. 

The decision follows years of discussion surrounding the right of death row prisoners to invite religious leaders to their execution. 

Pastors are now allowed to enter the chamber, following stringent security checks, but are not usually allowed to touch the person undergoing lethal injection. 

The prison system has long denied the requests, for fears surrounding security within the chamber. 

Justice Brett Kavanaugh argued that allowing a priest to attend the execution of John Ramirez would open the door to more prisoners making similar requests, which could use up valuable court time.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email