Alabama seeks to let execution of Muslim inmate proceed

Forty-two-year-old Dominique Ray was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Thursday.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 1:55 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 6:56 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - 

6 p.m.

Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let it proceed with Thursday's scheduled execution of an inmate convicted of a teenager's killing.

The Alabama attorney general's office on Wednesday asked justices to vacate a stay issued by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Forty-two-year-old Dominique Ray was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Thursday. However, the 11th Circuit stayed the execution plan to weigh whether Alabama treats Muslim and Christian inmates differently in their final moments.

Ray, who is Muslim, has asked that his imam take the place of a Christian prison chaplain inside the execution chamber.

The state has argued that only prison employees are allowed inside the chamber for security reasons but Ray's imam can visit him beforehand and witness the execution from an adjoining room.

Ray was convicted in the July 1995 fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville.

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2:23 p.m.

A federal appeals court has stayed the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama who says the state is violating his religious rights by not allowing an imam at his lethal injection.

The 11th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay Wednesday, a day before the scheduled lethal injection of Dominique Ray.

Members of a three-judge panel wrote that it appears the state's position violates freedom of religion protections.

Alabama lets inmates have a spiritual adviser witness the execution from an adjoining room. A Christian chaplain typically stays in the execution chamber.

The state agreed with Ray's request that no chaplain be present, but cited security reasons for why it would not allow an imam in the chamber.

Ray was convicted in the July 1995 fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville.

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