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IN YOUR VIEW | Religious Concerns: How far should a state have to go to satisfy a condemned inmate?

September 10, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. | Updated September 10, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of a convicted murderer in Texas this week over a question of religious rights.

John Henry Ramirez brutally stabbed Corpus Christi convenience store worker Pablo Castro to death during a 2004 robbery.

Ramirez found religion on death row and believes he has the right to have his pastor lay hands on him and say prayers while he is being executed.

State law allows a spiritual advisor in the execution chamber, but does not allow physical contact for security reasons.

The high court is expected to hear arguments in October or November.

We want to know what you think. How far should a state have to go to accommodate a condemned person's religious wishes? Should those wishes take precedence over state law or security concerns?

Send your response (50 words maximum) to [email protected] by Wednesday, September 15. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St, Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.

Last Week: Rights or Wrong?

Last week's question was about Constitutional Carry becoming law in Texas. Are you in favor of the new law or against it? Are you more likely to carry a handgun in public, openly or concealed, now that the new law is in effect?

No, I do not agree with the law. As a retired Law Enforcement Officer I believe it is better for citizens to be trained in the do's and don'ts of carrying a weapon that can kill if misused. - J.C., Texarkana, Texas

This is another bad law, put in effect by the governor. I am waiting to hear how many gunfights and deaths start happening, once drinking and fights occur. At least before they would have to get training. Instead of Texas wanting to come into the 21st century, they want to go back to the Wild Wild West. No I will not be carrying a gun. I retired in Texas because I thought they were metropolitan and smart, now I am rethinking that. I see Texas against women rights, gun toting state, don't want teach history. So sad! - R.K., Texarkana, Texas


  • Constitutional rights are Constitutional rights. Period. I would always encourage handling/usage and safety training though.

- Always encourage training. But it's a constitutional right. I like it because it gives law abiding citizens the ability to carry. Because criminals carried regardless.

  • Criminals don't care about you or the laws. Protect yourself and seek proper training.

  • I'm all for it it is my right to protect myself and family!

  • All for it!

  • Behind it 100%

  • The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Your feelings don't trump my rights.


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