Jury Gives Ramirez the Death Penalty
The jury that found John Henry Ramirez guilty of stabbing a convenience
store clerk 29 times back in 2004 took a little a less that four hours
Monday afternoon to decide on the death penalty for him.
Ramirez's grandmother, Maria Hinojosa, spoke to 6 News after the death
sentence was announced. She blamed an inadequate defense for the capital
murder conviction and for the maximum penalty given.
Hinojosa lamented, "There was no defense. There was an appointed lawyer
who just sat there okay, did nothing, rejected nothing." She continued,"If
we would have had $75,000 to pay for an attorney like Douglas Tinker, we
wouldn't be where we are right now, or Jerry Miller if we could afford it,
which no one has that kind of money right anymore."
During the morning's closing arguments, the defense kept things short and
sweet, hoping it would be enough to spare their client's life.
The prosecution, on the other hand, asked the jury to show no mercy.
Prosecutor Mark Skurka implored the jury, "Give Pablo Castro justice. Make
this road end in justice."
Castro was working at a Times Market convenience store on July 19th, 2004
when Ramirez walked in with intentions to the rob the store.
Instead, Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times and robbed him of $1.25 – which
Skurka described as, "the death of one person – an innocent person – for
Skurka reminded jurors of Ramirez's actions after the murder, robbing 2
people at knifepoint. He went on to say that even police consider Ramirez
a troublemaker with a lengthy criminal history including drugs and weapons
Skurka continued, "Who could doubt that John Henry Ramirez has gone down
that road toward evil, toward death and destruction?"
And because of the facts and circumstances of the case, Skurka told jurors
it was their responsibility to make sure Ramirez does not hurt anyone
"He needs to be punished for what he did," Skurka emphasized. "Is it a
good punishment for the death penalty? In this case, yes, because the
facts and circumstances matter. Is there a chance, is there a probability
that he could hurt other people in the future and be a danger to our
society? The evidence is clearly that he could, clearly that he could."
The defense, on the other hand, kept its argument very brief. Attorney
Grant Jones only read scripture from Psalm 51, verse 3, "… for I know my
transgressions in my sin is always before me, Amen."
Ramirez's grandmother told 6 News it would be up to Ramirez whether to
appeal or not.
(source: KRIS TV News)