Saturday, April 06, 2019

Inmate's Suit Seeks Imam In Execution Chamber

In the wake of two widely publicized U.S. Supreme Court actions involving similar issues in Alabama and Texas, suit was filed this week by a Muslim death row inmate in Alabama who wants to have an imam present in the execution chamber when when he is executed. The complaint (full text) in Burton v. Dunn, (MD AL, April 4, 2019), alleges that Charles Burton's rights under RLUIPA, the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment, the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise clause are violated by the prison's current policy under which only the prison's mainline Protestant Christian chaplain is present in the execution chamber. Burton objects to that chaplain's presence. Stanford Law School's Legal Clinic issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit. [Thanks to James Sonne for the lead.]