Thursday, October 20, 2005

Don't Kill Luis Ramirez

Barring intervention from the courts, Governor Perry, or God, Luis Ramirez will die tonight for the murder-for-hire of his ex-wife's lover. Many consider that justice. They're entitled.

As I
wrote here recently, though, none of us are as good as our best act or as bad as our worst one. If you don't think that's true, read this essay by Luis Ramirez about his first day on Texas death row, "What's in the brown paper bag?" Can you guess what he found there? I couldn't have. "I found caring, kindness, love, humanity, and compassion of a scale that I've never seen the 'good people' in the free world show towards one another," he wrote.

You may think killing Luis Ramirez is justice. And you're entitled. But for me, I'm embarassed to live in a society where the only time in his life Luis Ramirez was shown simple compassion was when he was gathered together with other doomed men aboard the Texas executioner's assembly line.

Christ forgave the thief on the cross after he repented, but Texans can't seem to muster the same impulse for mercy. I certanly urge you to
contact Governor Perry to ask him to stay the execution. But knowing our courts and our Governor, at this point one imagines Luis Ramirez can only look to God, not the Texas justice system, for his salvation.

1000 Executions and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

UPDATE: Ramirez was put to death.


Anonymous said...

San Angelo firefighter Nemecio Nandin said goodbye To his two children for the last time April 8, 1998.

Luis Ramirez handcuffed Nandin and then shot him twice in the head with a shotgun because Nemecio was dating his ex-wife.

The firefighter's body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of San Angelo.

Anonymous said...

“I did not kill your loved one, but I hope that one day you find out who did,” Ramirez told four siblings of Nemecio Nandin. “I wish I could tell you the reason why or give some kind of solace. You lost someone you love very much, the same as my family and friends are going to lose in a few minutes.

“I am sure he died unjustly, just like I am. I did not murder him. I did not have anything to do with his death.”

As the drugs began to flow, Ramirez told his family he loved them, then gasped several times. He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.

Anonymous said...

"I didnt' kill anyone". -- O.J. Simpson

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Jesus Christ

Anonymous said...

"Christ forgave the thief on the cross after he repented, but Texans can't seem to muster the same impulse for mercy."

He forgave the thief, but he did not take the thief off the cross, or say the thief was innocent. In fact, the thief recognized his own guilt, confessed it, and asked for salvation. Luis Ramirez did none of this. If he did, he would deserve our mercy; in the absence of that, I fail to see the comparison.

Anonymous said...

Grits, I think the more appropriate bible quote from Jesus would be, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Obviously, you're lucky to be blessed here with blameless commenters.

Here's a thought: What if Ramirez didn't admit his guilt because the informant lied and he didn't hire the killer? Should he have admitted something he didn't do? It wouldn't have mattered, anyway. Many death row inmates admit their guilt and repent, and I doubt your commenter who "fails to see the comparison" has ever advocated showing them "mercy."

Anonymous said...

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone ...."

Yeah, let's just abolish the whole criminal justice system! That's a great solution.

Why don't you just claim Ramirez's evil twin, "Skippy," did it -- the suspension of logic required to support both concepts is about the same.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

No suspension of logic required to think a jailhouse snitch might lie. That's the #1 cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, according to Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions.

Anonymous said...

Of course, in order to believe Ramirez was innocent, you'd not only have to find fault w/ his co-defendant "snitching" on him (not a paid informant, but his actual partner in crime), but you'd also have to believe that:

(1) his ex-wives lied about Ramirez stalking them, physically and verbally abusing them, etc., in the past and being dangerously jealous,
(2) witnesses lied about seeing the co-D and Ramirez together on multiple occassions,
(3) witnesses lied about seeing the co-D w/ a wad of money soon after meeting w/ Ramirez,
(4) witnesses lied when debunking Ramirez's weak alibi during the time of the murder,
(5) a handwriting expert lied in identifying as Ramirez's handwriting the notes found in the co-D's wallet that included a hand-drawn map to the home of Ramirez's ex-wife, a description of her vehicle and license plate number, and information about the victim, along with Ramirez's business card,
(5) Ramirez's own children lied in saying their daddy kept asking about his ex-wife's boyfriend (the victim) and told them he would "take care of the problem,"
(6) and more.

But then, some folks can ignore anything if it doesn't fit into their wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Luis had an independent witness who places him in another town at the time of the murder.
There are petrol receipts and phone calls to back this up. His lawyer failed to bring this up during his trial. He had an all white jury. He had taken an injunction out against his wife to stop her harrassing him, and had to fight her in court just to stay in contact with his kids. Luis was convicted on the evidence of a junkie paid informer who said he had heard Luis did it. Ed Bell, who had the murder guy's blood on his clothes and was seen throwing bolld covered latex gloves from a car, got off with a life sentence by naming Luis. I think you will find that justice is brought and paid for in the States. As Luis once said , Captital punishment, means they punish those with no captial. Luyis was innocent.

Anonymous said...

"Ed Bell ... got off with a life sentence by naming Luis." Huh? "Got off"? Life in prison is the MAX. sentence for murder, which is all Bell faced until he named names. The charge was increased to capital murder b/c Bell told authorities it was a murder-for-hire and named who hired him.

Bell had no motive for killing Nandin except for the $1000 that Ramirez paid him. If Bell had kept his mouth shut, he could have received a BETTER deal and EARLIER parole eligibility under Texas law. He gained nothing -- NOTHING -- tangible by confessing his role and that of Ramirez.

But Ramirez wasn't convicted on one piece of evidence -- killers never are. It is the totality of the evidence, weighed and judged for credibility by juries and judges, that leads to conviction. Try as one might by reading biased, self-serving accounts of death row inmates' cases over the internet, their stories rarely stand up under the light of day. But I guess some people only see what they want to see.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Hmmmmmm. Anonymous commenters who speak with absolute certainty about specific intricacies of complex court cases evoke SUCH tremendous confidence. Are you one of the prosecutors that you can speak with such specificity about what Bell was and wasn't offered?

Like my original post said, none of us are as good as our best act or as bad as our worst one. That goes both for Luis Ramirez and holier-than-thou death penalty proponents. In such tragic circumstances, a little humility is required, I think, by those on all sides. As Paul told the Romans, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Anonymous said...

I heard every bit of testimony and I can say without doubt he was guilty. Luis hired Bell and then participated in the act as well. It makes me crazy when people give comments when they did not hear all the testimony and know of all the evidence. I was on the jury and this man is a liar, a manipulator, and a self possessed killer. I did not enjoy giving him the death penalty, but it was my duty. With his last word....he continued to lie. That is precisely why he got the death penalty. He was a liar and a master manipulator and would have been a threat even behind bars.

Anonymous said...

As someone else who heard the evidence during the trial, it was actually his ex-wife who took out a protective order against HIM for harrassment, not the other way around. And there was no court case about enforcing visitation. All visitation was carried out per the original visitation orders...

Anonymous said...

To all that convict people to death, this is not for you to judge, this is Gods decision!

Karma does come back around, when you see your sibblings going through challenges in life, let this be a constant reminder of what roll you played to remove a human life.

Anonymous said...

I recently found this sight and felt that I should comment. First, Jesus did forgive the thief (not a murderer) but allowed human justice to proceed. Ramirez may or may not have been forgiven by the Lord, but that is spiritual forgiveness. Like the thief, human justice was carried out and Christ allowed it. I don't see how an all white jury shold be a consideration in a crime commited by a hispanic aginst a hispanic, that is another excuse for advocates in his defence. If there were receipts placing him in other places, even the worst lawyer would have produced them; this is not something you just forget.

This blog is titled "Don't Kill Luis Ramirez" but where was the nice little title to Luis saying "Don't Kill Nemecio Nandin". You "grits for breakfest" make some page on a so called inocent man who was wrongly accused when you youself do nothing but read files on people you have never actually met. You know nothing other than what you want to believe. To you your opinion should be fact when in all reality it is the farthest from the truth. To have this site to make more of an issue on something that should have been laid to rest long ago makes you just another journalist out looking for drama in a place where it is not needed. This was eight years ago if the family of the deceast can let these things go then why can't you. I, the son of Nemecio Nandin, have lived my life trying to let these things stay in the past and try to move on but egotystical journalist like yourself who are out for a "big break" can't let things pass. You will be judged upon your actions and justice will be reigned down upon you as it is to everyone else and your punishment for your cruel ways will delivered in due time. For now I wish you to find a better way in life rather than diging up graves.
Nemecio Joshua Nandin

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@ Nemecio Nandin:

This was written two years ago right before Ramirez's execution. That's not "digging up graves," it was commenting on the news of the day.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for the Ramirez family's loss, too. But you seem to be saying that people who oppose the death penalty shouldn't say so on their blogs. On that score, we'll simply have to disagree.

I'm sorry you found the post offfensive.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nemecio Joshua Nandin,

I am sorry for your loss, to lose your father was a terrible crime. But Luis family and friends have also lost someone they love too. They cannot rest untill Luis's name is cleared. During this trial the state offered no tangible evidence to support this conviction. They had no DNA evidence, no physical evidence, no scientific evidence, no eyewitnesses no murder weapon and they could not place him at the crime scene. They relied primarily on the hearsay testimony of a paid informant. The informant s a self described daily drug user. He was not someone that Mr. Ramirez knew, nor did he know Mr. Ramirez. In the courtroom this informant was not able to identify Mr. Ramirez when he was sitting in front of him. Basically the informant's testimony was about something he had heard. He offered no first hand knowledge of the offense and even less regarding the remuneration. then informant never said that he heard Mr. Ramirez offer anything, or saw him pay anything. And the state had absolutely no evidence to support this claim. Luis had neither motive nor opportunity to commit this crime. The victim was a complete stranger to him.
As to his alibi witness, she testified at an evidentiary hearing in April 2001. It was before Judge Ben Woodward. Her testimony directly contradicted the paid informant. The jury never heard this testimony only the judge who ruled that this evidence would not have made a difference in the outcome of the trial.
Luis Ramirez had ineffective counsel and that is what cost him his life.
I am sorry if this is painful for you, but having the State murder your loved one is equally as terrible.
Luis was a good and caring man, and left behind 3 children. His name deserves to be cleared. There is a 60 min documentary made all about him and a mosaic wall made in his memory in the UK.
Go to for futher into.

Luis Ramirez R.I P

Anonymous said...

Luis was my best friend, someone so close to me written words can never explain, he was indeed a true angel from heaven. This Justice system is such a double standard. Thou shall not kill, But only Texas? how does that work? Someone explain. Who determines they have the right to kill an innocent man. I miss you everyday Luis and thank you for the roses....

Anonymous said...

I wish people would see past your own ideas at look at the facts, this man killed another man. He thought about it, had a plan, and hired someone else to do his dirty work. Then he did this horrible thing at another family's home. He was a coward. And to add to everything else, ny brother and I were the ones who had to find Nandin, half buried in our back yard. Do you people ever think about how someones stupid actions affect others. He is better off gone!!!

Anonymous said...

I know its alittle late but here is my piece on this subject, I was an Airforce firefighter in training when i met Dawn (Ramirez)ex-wife soon after meeting her he started stalking me asking me to meet him off post because he had "something for me",and he wanted to take care of the problemhe stalked me for two months while i was in san angelo i couldnt even go off post for a pack of cigarettes...soon after that he started showing up on post sitting outside my living quarters calling me and threatening me on the phone.
He even followed me to the Lubbock airport and while i was away on leave he destroyed my car.
Shortly after that incedent he was caught and kicked off the base, when he was pulled over they found 9mm shells in his car my phone number in his phone. and pics of the damage to my car.
I was a character whitness in this case and i was glad to be there to bring the character of a killer to light.
i am a God fearing man but to who ever whants to put the idea that God is the only one who should give judgement. Well then When they let go all the killers back on the streets and they kill again may " YOU" be the first to be stalked and killed. It sickens me when So called god fearing people can side on a killer, twist the truth, and make the killer the victim...Wake up America what is your problem. We have come a long way in the American justice system and LOUIS RAMIREZ got his just deserts. OH YEA, and for you people that think well what about his kids do you think he was really thinking about his kids when he helped murder a LIVING PERSON.
My name is Maurice Levine and I was terrorized by this man. I think Its funny how all the comments keep coming as anonymous...COWARDS...
Nemecio Nandin,I did not know your father as a firefighter myself I wish I did so I could have warned him of the poison of Dawn and Louis. My condolences on your loss. I am shure your father was a good and kind hearted man. AND MAY HE REST IN PEACE, knowing his killer was brought to justice.

Tisha Long said...

HI, I am the Daughter of Nemecio Nandin I know that you have the right to your opinion. But I have right to my opinion. Did you ever think about the our Family. No I dont think you did. You just fell into Ramirez hole of felling sorry for him. You know that it hurts us to. At least the Ramirez family knew when he was going to die. We still have no idea why they killed our dad. Have you ever thought about that? You know we fell sorry for his family they didnt ask for this but Remirez did. At least they have closer and we still dont. If you wont to know the truth I think that Remirez should have been taken out to a chicken coop and shout twice in the head close rang with a shoutgun and then barred in a shallow grave just like dad died. I think that Ramirez did very well befor he died, You know Ramirez had a chance to have a last meal that he wonted and to ask for forgive ness. When my dad didnt. So you tell me what is injustful about that.

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is that Luis Ramirez made not one choice, but several. He choose time and time ... and TIME again to do the wrong thing. Luis choose to kill once in his thoughts, second through his words, third in his preparation, and last in his actions. This man, for lack of better word, chose his death when he choose his action. When the moment that Luis Ramirez committed to his thoughts of murder he committed to his own execution. I don’t feel anger, resentment or even a sense of peace with Luis Ramirez death. I simply feel sadness. Sadness that we live in a world where people choose to make the wrong choice. A world were others choices effect not just ourselves but others as well. I am sad to think that year after year, tear after tear, heart ache after heart ache and so much more that my life will continue to be a part of Luis Ramirez. Never in a million years would I have thought that I could be connected to someone so horrific. Today and forever I wash my hands of this disgrace. I wash my hands of you Luis Ramirez. I cleans my heart of the pain you inflicted though the death of my uncle. No more! No more will I continue to allow the hurt you caused to me and my family to affect me in my life. You took joy from my world, but not from my heart! My uncle may be dead but his words of encouragement, and love live on.