Muslim man executed after US Supreme Court denies request for imam's presence

08 February 2019 - 14:13 By Reuters
The US Supreme Court denied a request by a Muslim death row prisoner, Domineque Ray, for an imam's presence in the execution chamber. Ray was sentenced to death in 1999 for killing Tiffany Harville, 15, in Selma, Alabama, in July 1995.
The US Supreme Court denied a request by a Muslim death row prisoner, Domineque Ray, for an imam's presence in the execution chamber. Ray was sentenced to death in 1999 for killing Tiffany Harville, 15, in Selma, Alabama, in July 1995. 
Image: 123RF/Alexei Novikov

A Muslim man was executed in Alabama on Thursday, as originally scheduled, after the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the execution, denying his request for an imam's presence in the execution chamber.

Death row inmate Domineque Ray, 42, is shown in this booking photo in Montgomery, Alabama, US, provided on February 7 2019.
Death row inmate Domineque Ray, 42, is shown in this booking photo in Montgomery, Alabama, US, provided on February 7 2019.
Image: Alabama Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

Attorneys for Domineque Ray, 42, had argued that Alabama's execution policy favoured Christian inmates because a chaplain is allowed in the room, often kneeling next to the death row prisoner, and praying with the inmate if requested.

Ray was executed by lethal injection at 10.12pm, a spokesperson of the department of corrections told Reuters in an e-mail. No other information was immediately available.

Ray's imam, Yusef Maisonet, watched the execution from an adjoining witness room, multiple media reports said, including the Birmingham News.

Ray's execution was to have been temporarily delayed because he asked his imam to replace the chaplain in the death chamber.

On Wednesday, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to stay the planned execution to weigh Ray's arguments, but the state of Alabama quickly appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned the Circuit Court.

Ray was sentenced to death in 1999 for the killing of Tiffany Harville, 15, who disappeared from her Selma, Alabama, home in July 1995. 

Reuters

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