Texas prisoner requests postponement of kidney donation execution


Houston (AP) — A Texas inmate who will be sentenced to death within two weeks has asked to postpone the execution so that he can donate his kidneys.

Ramiro Gonzalez, a woman in southwest Texas, will be lethal injected on July 13 for shooting and killing 18-year-old Bridget Townsend, whose body was found nearly two years later. She disappeared in 2001.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Gonzales lawyers Sia Posel and Raul Schoenemann told Republican Governor Greg Abbott that prisoners were alive to those in urgent need for a kidney transplant. Asked to give 30 days grace to be considered. .. “

His lawyer separately requested the Texas Board of Pardons for a 180-day grace period related to kidney donations.

In their request to Abbott, Gonzales lawyers included a letter from the ordained Jewish priest Canter Michael Zuzuman from Maryland, who was in contact with Gonzales.

“There is no doubt that Ramiro’s desire to be an altruistic kidney donor has not been motivated by the last attempt to stop or delay his execution. I think this is Ramiro’s god. And go to my grave, believing in my heart that it is what I want to do to help correct his soul, “Zoosman writes.

Gonzales lawyers say he was determined to be an “excellent candidate” for donations after being evaluated by the transplant team at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Galveston. As a result of the evaluation, it was found that the blood type of Gonzales is rare. In short, his donation can be useful to those who have difficulty finding a match.

“Practically all that remains is surgery to remove Ramiro’s kidneys. UTMB has confirmed that the procedure will be completed within a month,” Posel and Schonemann wrote to Abbott.

The policy of the Texas Criminal Justice Department allows prisoners to donate organs and tissues. Agency spokeswoman Amanda Hernandez said Gonzales was disqualified after requesting to be a donor earlier this year. She didn’t give a reason, but Gonzales’ lawyer said in their letter that her agency objected to the pending execution date.

Abbott’s office did not immediately reply to the email requesting comment.

The Texas Board of Pardons will vote on July 11 in response to Gonzales’ request to the agency.

Gonzales lawyers have made another request to the board to pass on the death sentence to a smaller sentence.

They also demanded that his execution not proceed. Spiritual Advisor Both holding his hand during his execution and placing another hand in his mind are not allowed. A two-day federal trial on this request was scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Houston.

Robert Dunham, Managing Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said Gonzales rarely requested that the execution of organ donations be postponed among US convict on death row prisoners.

The murderer accused in 1995 Stephen Shelton In Delaware, we donated kidneys to our mother.

Ronald Phillips Executioner in Ohio 2013 I’m late Therefore, he was able to consider his request to donate the kidneys to his mother.Philips request Was later rejected And he He was executed in 2017.

“Skeptics will think this is just an attempt to delay execution, but if so, I think you’ll see a lot of demands,” he said. His group does not take a position on the death penalty, but criticizes the state’s way of executing the death penalty. “The history of executions in the United States shows that people have not offered to donate organs to delay executions.”

In the report, the United Network for Organ Sharing, a non-profit organization that acts as a national transplant system under a federal contract, raises various ethical concerns about organ donations from accused prisoners. I mentioned it. They may morally endanger such organs, whether such donations could be tied to prisoners receiving preferential treatment, or because of the ties to the death penalty. Includes whether or not.


Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https: //twitter.com/juanlozano70