Ramirez v. Collier - Wikipedia

Ramirez v. Collier
Argued November 9, 2021
Decided March 24, 2022
Full case nameJohn H. Ramirez v. Bryan Collier, Executive Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, et al.
Docket no.21-5592
Citations595 U.S. ___ (more)
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Roberts
Associate Justices
Clarence Thomas · Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito · Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan · Neil Gorsuch
Brett Kavanaugh · Amy Coney Barrett
Case opinions
MajorityRoberts, joined by Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett

Ramirez v. Collier, 595 U.S. ___ (2022), is a United States Supreme Court case related to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.


On July 19, 2004, 20-year-old John Henry Ramirez (June 29, 1984 – October 5, 2022),[1] a former United States Marine, accompanied by two female acquaintances, murdered 46-year-old convenience store worker Pablo Castro outside a Times Market in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ramirez stabbed Castro a total of twenty-nine times, resulting in his death.[2] The trio stole less than two dollars from Castro and fled the scene without entering the store.[3] The two female acquaintances were captured a day later but Ramirez fled to Mexico and was not captured until 2008.[4] He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death soon thereafter.[5]

Ramirez was originally scheduled to be executed on September 9, 2020. That warrant was withdrawn. Years prior to this, he had been scheduled for execution on February 2, 2017, but his execution was stayed by the District Court.

In 2021, Ramirez filed suit to challenge the Texas execution protocol under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, seeking to have his minister be allowed to lay hands on his body and audibly pray during the execution process. The district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit both denied stays of execution, the latter over the dissent of Judge James L. Dennis. Ramirez then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari.[6]

Supreme Court decision[edit]

The Supreme Court stayed Ramirez's execution shortly before it was scheduled to occur on September 8, 2021, and granted his petition for a writ of certiorari. Oral arguments were held on November 9, 2021.

On March 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ramirez, with Chief Justice John Roberts stating that Texas' denial of Ramirez's request "likely violated a federal law".[7]


On October 5, 2022, Ramirez was executed by lethal injection at the Huntsville Unit. Before his death, Ramirez's spiritual advisor Dana Moore said a prayer while his right hand was on Ramirez's chest.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Death Row Information: John Henry Ramirez". Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  2. ^ Chute, Nate (September 9, 2021). "Delayed by a request for a pastor, here's what we know about John Ramirez's execution in Texas". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  3. ^ "Clerk Killed While Taking Out Trash". Tyler Morning Telegraph. July 21, 2004. p. 3. Retrieved January 29, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Execution delayed for Texas prisoner who requested pastor lay hands on him". The Guardian. September 9, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  5. ^ "Former Corpus Marine gets death penalty". KVII-TV. December 9, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  6. ^ Howe, Amy (September 8, 2021). "Court blocks execution, will weigh in on inmate's religious-liberty claims". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  7. ^ Totenberg, Nina (March 24, 2022). "Supreme Court backs a prisoner who sought his pastor's touch at the time of execution". NPR.
  8. ^ Juan Lozano and Michael Graczyk (October 5, 2022). "Texas executes inmate who fought prayer, touch rules". Associated Press News.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

External links[edit]