Texas Death Row Inmate Ramiro Gonzales Requests Execution Delay to Donate Kidney

A Texas death row inmate has requested a stay of execution so he can donate a kidney.

Ramiro Gonzales, 39, is to be put to death by lethal injection on July 13 for the 2001 murder of a Texas teenager.

On Wednesday, his lawyers asked Governor Greg Abbott to delay the execution for a month so that Gonzales could be considered a living donor « to someone who is in dire need of a kidney transplant. »

They also asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Pardons for a six-month reprieve in connection with the requested kidney donation.

Lawyers Thea Posel and Raoul Schonem said a University of Texas transplant team found Gonzales an « excellent candidate » for donation because of his rare blood type.

“Virtually all that’s left is surgery to remove Ramiro’s kidney. The UTMB has confirmed that the procedure could be completed within a month,” Posel and Schonemann wrote to Abbott.

Governor Greg Abbott was told by Ramiro Gonzales’ lawyers to delay the execution for a month.
(Kevin C. Downs for The New York

They also included a letter from Cantor Michael Zoosman, a Jewish cleric who had contact with the inmate.

« There is no doubt in my mind that Ramiro’s desire to be a selfless kidney donor is not driven by a last-minute attempt to stop or delay his execution. I will go to my grave believing in my heart that this is something Ramiro wants to do to help set his soul right with his God,” Zoosman wrote.

While Texas allows inmates to donate their organs, a prior request by Gonzales was denied earlier this year. A spokeswoman for the Department of Criminal Justice did not explain the decision, but lawyers for the killer said it was because his execution was imminent.

Posel and Schonemann also asked the parole board to commute his death sentence and allow a spiritual advisor to hold his hand and heart during the execution, should it continue.

A federal trial on the latter claim was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Gonzales was found guilty of fatally shooting 18-year-old Bridget Townsend when he was 18. His remains were not found for two years.

The inmate has a seventh grade education, according to prison records.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which is under contract with the federal government to run the nation’s transplant system, has expressed concerns about organ donations from death row inmates, including the possibility that the organs could be morally compromised.

With AP wires


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