A Texas death row inmate who brutally stabbed his victim 29 times for a dollar has filed a lawsuit in the hopes that prison officials will allow a pastor to lay hands upon him as he undergoes the lethal injection on Sept. 8.

John Henry Ramirez, 37, a former Marine and a devout Protestant, has been waiting for his execution in Texas since 2009. He was convicted for killing Pablo Castro, a convenience store clerk in Corpus Christi back in 2004.

According to CBS News, Ramirez filed the lawsuit on Aug. 10, asking a federal judge to allow his pastor, Dana Moore, to be present in the death chamber during his execution so he can lay hands upon him, the moment he dies.

Since the legal action, the judge has now been asked to allow a religious leader to place their hands on Ramirez for a spiritual blessing as he gets the lethal injection. The laying of hands is a symbolic act for Protestants where a religious leader places their hands on a person to pass over a spiritual blessing. To deny the pastor from doing this to Ramirez is a violation of the first amendment right, according to the suit.

New York Times reported the suit argues that the laying of hands would occur "when most Christians believe they will either ascend to heaven or descend to hell — in other words, when religious instruction and practice is most needed."

Ramirez said his pastor had been ministering to him for about five years. Moore is the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi and has traveled 300 miles to the prison in Livingston, Texas — where Ramirez is being held and to also speak to inmates there for over a decade.

According to the media outlet, Ramirez and Moore have never touched. Whenever the pastor visits Ramirez for prayer, they press their palms up against the plexiglass that separates them. "It would just be comforting," Ramirez said.

Ramirez has already dodged execution twice in the past, once so he could receive a new attorney and another because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for allegedly stabbing his estranged wife to death in 2020 in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. This is a representational image. Pixabay.