A grandmother who might receive the kidneys of a death row inmate calls the man who raped and murdered his drug dealer’s 18-year-old girlfriend ‘brave.’
Judy Frith, a grandmother and cancer survivor in Washington state, is seeking to potentially receive the kidneys of Ramiro Gonzales, who was convicted in 2006 in the rape and murder of 18-year-old Bridget Townsend.
‘It’s very rare to find somebody that wants to do a live donation in the first place,’ Frith said in an interview with NewsNation. ‘It’s very brave. I think it would be a shame if Mr. Gonzales wants to do that, and he’s not allowed to.’
Frith, who has been on dialysis for four years, shares the same blood type as Gonzales, Type B. The grandmother shared that the wait to receive a kidney for her blood type is about six years.
‘The type of dialysis I do, I have to do four times a day,’ Frith said. ‘I do it myself – I do it at home – do it at work. I’m on a pretty short tether. I’m not allowed to swim. I have dietary issues – so getting a kidney transplant – I can take my grandkids camping – I can take them swimming… it’s a lot of freedom for me.’
Ramiro Gonzales, 39, wants to donate his kidneys before he is potentially executed. He was set to be put to death on July 13 – but it was delayed after a state expert on July 11 claimed he mistakenly told jurors in 2006 that the inmate would likely commit the crime again. Gonzales sentence is set to be reviewed and will only be eligible for death if the court can prove is a danger to the public, according to The Texas Tribune.
Judy Frith (pictured) is a match for Gonzales’ blood type. She seeks to potentially receive his kidney, so that she can enjoy more time with her grandchildren
Bridget Townsend, pictured here, was the 18-year-old girlfriend of Gonzales’ drug dealer. He kidnapped, bound and raped her before shooting her dead and burying her in 2001
Gonzales, 39, sent a letter to Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott on June 29 asking that his death be delayed for one month so he can give his organ to either of two ‘preliminarily compatible’ recipients,’ according to CNN.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied the inmate’s request for a six-month delay to give his organ to a member of a Jewish congregation in Maryland.
Gonzales was scheduled to be put to death on July 13, but two days before the court halted his execution after a state expert on July 11 claimed he mistakenly told jurors in 2006 that the inmate would likely commit the crime again, according to The Texas Tribune.
Gonzales wrote a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott (pictured) in June urging him to temporarily halt his execution
In order to be eligible for the death penalty, Gonzales must be found likely to be a future danger. If the court can’t prove that the inmate is capable of repeating his steps, he may be eligible for life in prison without the possibility of parole instead.
Now that Gonzales’ execution is halted while an investigation into the state expert’s original testimony is carried out, the discussion of his organs being donated is the center of the discussion.
Frith, who has been on dialysis for four years, originally wrote to Governor Abbott in June pleading with him to allow Gonzales the opportunity to donate his organs.
‘Whether or not Mr. Gonzales could donate to me, I cannot emphasize enough what a precious gift you would be giving someone if you allowed Mr. Gonzales the opportunity to donate his kidney,’ Frith wrote in a letter obtained by CNN.
‘You have the ability to save that person’s life by allowing Mr. Gonzales to donate,’ Frith wrote to Abbott at the time.
Cantor Michael Zoosman (pictured), the founder of L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty, says Gonzales wants to donate his kidney to make up for his crime
Gonzales, who his lawyers say suffered from sexual abuse as a child and drug addiction, kidnapped Townsend in 2001 from her boyfriend’s house where he had gone to steal drugs.
He bound her hands and feet and then sexually assaulted her before shooting her and then burying her in a ditch.
He confessed to the crime in 2003 while sitting in a county jail on an unrelated crime and led investigators to the decomposing body.
Gonzales has ‘never made excuses for what he’d done,’ Cantor Michael Zoosman, the founder of L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty said.
‘It was something he wanted to do to make expiation for the life he had taken,’ the cantor said.
Because Gonzales’ blood Type B is extremely rare, most donor patients have been waiting for years for a compatible organ.