Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:18 am EST
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to halt the execution of Mexican national Robert Ramos. Robert was arguing that his execution should be stayed as it violated his rights under the Vienna Convention. (For more information about how the Vienna Convention relates to this issue, click here) Robert also argued that his rights were violated as he had ineffective counsel during the penalty phase of his trial.
Updated: Monday, November 12, 2018 8:43 am EST
Robert Moreno Ramos is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Sixty-year-old Robert is convicted of murdering his 42-year-old wife Leticia Ramos and their two children, 7-year-old Abigail and 3-year-old Jonathan, on February 7, 1992, in Progreso, Texas. Robert has spent the last 25 years on Texas’ death row.
Robert is a Mexican national and was born in Aquascalientes, Mexico. He allegedly had a difficult childhood and was abused. He did not graduate from high school, dropping out prior to his senior year. Prior to his arrest, Robert worked as an aide for a disabled man and his family.
In November 1991, Robert Ramos began having an affair with Marisa Robledo. Marisa has stated that she did not know Ramos was married, as he had told her that his wife Leticia was a widow that he was helping to support, along with her children Jonathan and Abigail. In reality, Leticia was Robert’s wife and Jonathan and Abigail were their children.
The affair continued and eventually, Marisa wanted to get married. Ramos agreed and they set a date for February 10, 1992. On February 7, 1992, Ramos returned to the home he shared with his wife. A neighbor heard a female screaming and swearing from the house. When church members visited the family in the next couple of days, Ramos stated that they were moving to California and were too busy to say goodbye.
On February 10, 1992, Ramos and Marisa were married. Over the next two months, Ramos gave conflicting accounts of where his missing family had gone. Eventually the police were notified. Ramos was questioned by the police on March 30, 1992. He was then arrested for various traffic warrants.
On April 6, 1992, police searched Ramos’ home, discovering extensive blood evidence. Additionally, all toys and clothing belong to the missing family members had been placed in the attic. Police discovered the bodies of the Leticia, Abigail, and Jonathan, under the freshly tiled floor in the bathroom. It was determined that they had all be killed by blows to the head with a blunt object, such as a hammer.
Ramos initially told police officers that he had returned home and discovered the bodies, believing that his wife had killed the children and then herself with a hammer. Analysis of the injuries showed that it was very unlikely that any of the injuries were self-inflicted. Ramos was convicted and sentenced to death on May 6, 1993, for their murders.
As a Mexican national, Ramos’ case has sparked controversy since he was unaware of his right to contact the Mexican Consulate and seek assistance during his trial. In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands ruled that over four dozen Mexican citizens awaiting execution in the United States were not informed of their rights to seek consular assistance and should receive new hearings. Then President George Bush directed states to follow the ruling of the international court, however the Supreme Court of the United States overruled the president, noting that the Vienna Convention is only enforceable between countries. American courts are not required to enforce the application of international treaties in individual criminal cases.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, several Mexican nationals have been executed in the United States. Lawyers for Ramos are attempting to halt his execution, arguing that the state should follow the ruling of the international court. Additionally, lawyers are claiming that Ramos has brain damage and is not mentally competent to be executed.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Leticia, Abigail, and Jonathan. Please pray for strength for the family of Robert Ramos. Please pray that if Robert is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his arrest. Please pray that Robert may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.