The Supreme Court just blocked the execution of a Texas man who was condemned to death for the horrific murder of an 85-year-old woman over 20 years ago.
Ruben Gutierrez was convicted of stabbing Escolastica Harrison to death.
The authorities said that Mr. Gutierrez tried to steal about $600,000 in cash from Escolastica Harrison, 85, after befriending her. They say Mr. Gutierrez, who was 21 at the time, and two accomplices went into the woman’s home and left with the money. Mr. Gutierrez, in his third statement to the police, said his accomplice beat, kicked and stabbed the victim, while Mr. Gutierrez took her money.
The Supreme Court delayed Mr. Gutierrez’s execution because the state did not allow his spiritual advisor to be in the death chamber with him.
“As a devout Catholic, Mr. Gutierrez’s faith requires the assistance of clergy to help him pass from life into afterlife,” his attorney, Shawn Nolan, argued.
Whether Mr. Gutierrez’s victim, Ms. Harrison, was allowed the assistance of clergy to help her pass from life into afterlife hasn’t been reported, but considering the brutal manner in which she died, it’s unlikely.