A Muslim inmate in Alabama filed a legal challenge asking to escape the death penalty because the state would not allow his ‘spiritual advisor’ be present in the execution chamber.
Ray claimed Alabama’s execution procedure favors Christian inmates “because a Christian chaplain employed by the prison typically remains in the execution chamber during a lethal injection, but the state would not let his imam be there in the room.”
The so-called ‘devout Muslim and human being,’ did get to have his imam in the adjoining room to watch the death.
This ‘devout Muslim,’ took a 15-year-old girl from Selma, raped her and slit her throat, leaving her body in a cotton field.
“Ray’s imam, Yusef Maisonet, watched the execution from an adjoining witness room, after visiting with Ray over the past two days. There was no Christian chaplain in the chamber, a concession the state agreed to make.”
Justices cited the fact that Ray did not raise the challenge until a few days before his scheduled execution.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote the decision was “profoundly wrong,” but she’s not on the high court.
“Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said this is the first time the state has had an objection to the chaplain’s presence. He said the state will review procedures to determine if something needs to be changed.”
Ray’s victim, Tiffany Harville, disappeared from her house in 1995. Authorities found her body one month later.
“Ray was convicted in 1999 after another man, Marcus Owden, confessed to his role in the crime and implicated Ray.
“Owden told police that they had picked the girl up for a night out on the town and then raped her. Owden said that Ray cut the girl’s throat.
“Owden pleaded guilty to murder, testified against Ray and is serving a life sentence without parole.
“A jury recommended the death penalty for Ray by an 11-1 vote.”
Ray’s attorneys had also asked to stay the execution because some records from a state psychiatric facility suggested Owden suffered from schizophrenia and delusions, but the evidence of Ray’s guilt was apparently overwhelming, and SCOTUS dismissed those last-minute claims.
Spencer Hahn, one of Ray’s attorneys, wrote in a statement, “Domineque was a devout Muslim and a human being. He was a son, a father, a brother. He wanted equal treatment in his last moments.”
Of course, Ray’s victim was given no such ‘equal treatment,’ and if this is how a ‘devout Muslim’ conducts himself….
“For 20 years, Domineque Ray has successfully eluded execution for the barbaric murder of a 15-year-old Selma girl. …Tonight, Ray’s long-delayed appointment with justice is finally met,” Marshall said.