Texas Cancels October 27, 2021, Execution Of Ruben Gutierrez

Ruben Gutierrez, Texas

Updated: Monday, October 18, 2021

The execution of Ruben Gutierrez was scheduled to occur at 6 pm local time, on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Ruben’s execution is stayed. Forty-four-year-old Ruben is convicted of murdering 85-year-old Escolastica Harrison on September 5, 1998, in Brownsville, Texas. For the last 22 years, Ruben has resided on Texas’ death row.

Ruben was born in Florida and dropped out of school after the eighth grade. Before going to prison, he worked as a forklift operator and a laborer.  

On the evening of September 5, 1998, Ruben Gutierrez and Rene Gracia entered the mobile home and office of Escolastica Harrison.  Escolastica owned a mobile home park. The two men entered, planning to steal the safe.  

The intruders hoped to incapacitate Escolastica and struck her on the head.  However, they failed to knock her out. Escolastica fought back against the intruders. During the fight, they struck her on the head multiple times with their fists and steel-toed shoes. She was also stabbed multiple times with two screwdrivers. Escolastica’s cheekbones were broken and she received severe brain damage, resulting in her death.

Ruben and Rene fled the office with at least $56,000 in cash.  

Ruben was convicted and sentenced to death on May 14, 1999. He has contested his death sentence, arguing there is no evidence directly linking him to Escolastica’s death. Ruben has admitted to helping plan the robbery, but denies participating in the murder. Rene was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and named Ruben as the killer.  

October 27, 2021, is not Ruben’s first execution date.  He had a previous execution date of September 12, 2018.  A federal judge with the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the execution due to Ruben being assigned new legal representation just one month before his execution.  Ruben’s former lawyer was removed from his case because she claimed she did not have the expertise to handle the case.  Also, his former lawyer was no longer allowed to practice before the 5th Circuit Court of appeals due to previous rude behavior towards court staff. 

Ruben also had two execution dates in 2019. The first execution was rescheduled after the execution warrant was withdrawn.  The second execution was stayed due to a clerical error.  

Ruben’s most recent execution is cancelled due to ongoing questions regarding access to the execution chamber by religious advisors.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Escolastica Harrison. Please pray for strength for the family of Ruben Gutierrez. Pray that if Ruben is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Ruben comes to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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