The execution of Brownsville death row inmate Ruben Gutierrez will remain on hold. The U.S. Supreme Court is telling a lower court to continue to consider a claim by Gutierrez that his religious rights were being violated.
The appeal relates to the Texas prison system’s policy change in 2019 that prohibited all spiritual advisors from the death chamber. The Supreme Court blocked Gutierrez’ execution last June citing the policy change, and Monday ordered his case sent back to Brownsville federal court.
The decision was the latest in what have been a series of delays in Gutierrez’ execution – the last one coming less than 24 hours before he was to be given a lethal injection.
Gutierrez was condemned for the 1999 screwdriver stabbing death and robbery of an elderly Brownsville woman in her home in the mobile home park she owned.