Stop the Execution of Ramiro Gonzales in Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott & Texas Department of Criminal Justice

[UPDATE: As of 4pm EDT on July 11, 2022, the execution of Ramiro Gonzales has been stayed by the Texas Court f Criminal Appeals pending a review of possible false testimony about future dangerousness by the state's expert witness. We are now working to allow him the opportunity to donate a kidney before he is killed - A potential recipient has been matched (video) and there is no longer a scheduling conflict since Ramiro no longer has a set execution date.]

On July 13th, the state of Texas plans to kill Ramiro Gonzales despite his incredible transformation toward healing and deep remorse. But with your support, there is still time to spare his life.

Ramiro is scheduled to be executed for the murder of Bridget Townsend, a crime he committed when he had barely turned 18 years old. At the time, he was reeling from drug addiction and traumatized by the aftermath of his childhood, which was marred by physical and sexual abuse, poverty, and neglect. His childhood had left psychological scars so extreme that he did not want to live.

But after 15 years on death row, Ramiro is a transformed human being. Everyone who has met Ramiro - from correctional officers to doctors, experts, lawyers, advocates, and loved ones - attests that he is a living and breathing example of our human capacity to transform and heal.

Even the state’s trial expert, who once testified that Ramiro was a future danger to society, has said he was wrong: Ramiro is not a danger. Ramiro should live.

Not only has Ramiro worked hard to overcome his own trauma, he’s also done immense work to reflect on his actions, take accountability for the pain he inflicted on others, and seek redemption and atonement through his spiritual practice and his conduct in prison.

For over a year and a half, Ramiro has sought to become an in vivo kidney donor, and donate his kidney as a life-giving act. Over the last 18 months, he has taken concrete steps to give his kidney, and entered the donation process with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston., where doctors not only approved Ramiro as a donor, but described him as an “excellent candidate.” Ramiro has a rare B blood type, and kidney-failure patients with this blood type often wait years - even up to a decade - for a kidney. Ramiro will not be able to donate his kidney after his execution because it will be contaminated with execution drugs.

Texas stands virtually alone in the United States in executing people who were teenagers at the time of their offense, leaving no space to consider the work Ramiro has done since then, and how much value he still has to add to this world. In fact, Texas executes more teenagers than any other state.

If you also believe in our human ability to change, and amount to much more than our worst moments, please sign the petition asking Governor Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to do everything in their power to stop Ramiro's execution.


NOTE: This petition was created in collaboration with Texas Defender Service. By taking action, you will receive periodic communications from both Death Penalty Action and Texas Defender Service. By providing your mobile number you consent to receive cell phone and text communications from Death Penalty Action and Texas Defender Service and its affiliated entities concerning news and action opportunities. Message and data rates may apply.


Sponsored by

To: Texas Governor Greg Abbott & Texas Department of Criminal Justice
From: Dr. Michael Koch

We are writing to ask that you stop the possible execution of Ramiro Gonzales for the 2001 murder of Bridget Townsend, an offense he committed when he was just 18 years old. Also, please allow Ramiro Gonzales to donate his kidney. He has a rare blood type and a possible recipient for such a donation has been identified.

At the time, Ramiro was gripped by a serious drug addiction rooted in prenatal substance exposure, severe childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and unbearable neglect. After 15 years on death row, Ramiro is a different person as experienced by those around him - including doctors, experts, advocates, and loved ones.
Even the state’s trial expert, who once testified against him, now believes Ramiro should live and that he does not pose a risk or future danger to society.
Not only has Ramiro worked hard to overcome his own trauma, he’s also done immense work to deepen his remorse, take accountability, and recognize the pain he inflicted on others.

Unfortunately, Texas stands virtually alone in the United States in executing people who were teenagers at the time of their offense, leaving no space to consider the work Ramiro has done since then, and how much value he still has to add to this world. Texas has executed more teenagers than any other state.

If nothing else, please grant Ramiro Gonzales a 180 day reprieve in order to allow him to save a life by becoming an altruistic kidney donor. This is especially important because Ramiro has been evaluated as an "excellent candidate" for kidney donation, and beyond that, his rare blood type means that he can help someone who will have a particularly difficult time finding an appropriate match.

We, the undersigned, ask that you do everything within your power to stop this execution, including recommending a reprieve and commutation of his death sentence.

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent and serious matter.