"US Supreme Court West Facade" by Matt Wade / CC BY-SA 3.0

Supreme Court Conservatives Allow Execution of Muslim Prisoner Despite Religious Freedom Violation

Feb 11, 2019

By Andrew L. Seidel

The five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court were in such a rush to see Domineque Ray executed that they ignored the First Amendment. This is because the condemned prisoner was a Muslim, not a member of the favored religion: Christianity.

Two weeks before his execution, Ray met with the warden, who explained the process and told him that the prison chaplain—a Christian—would be present in the execution chamber.

Alabama law says that the prison chaplain, a Christian (always a Christian) may be present. It also allows the condemned to have his own “spiritual advisor” present. But the prison interpreted this to mean that the Christian chaplain must be in the execution chamber while any other spiritual advisor watches from a separate room. Ray, a Muslim, objected. If any religious official would be there, Ray wanted a fellow Muslim.

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