Alabama executes Muslim inmate who wanted Imam by his side

Ray became a Muslim in prison since at least 2006, his lawyer believes.

By Bassel Barakat

A Muslim man was executed in Alabama on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to lift a stay for the death row inmate.

The inmate argued that his religious rights were violated because Alabama did not allow his imam next to him during the execution.

Domineque Ray, 42, was sentenced to death for the 1995 rape, robbery and murder of Tiffany Harville, 15. Her body was found in a cotton field.

“Due to the nature of his crime, the decision of a jury to condemn him to death and because our legal system has worked as designed, Mr. Ray’s sentence was carried out,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

“Courts at every level have upheld Mr. Ray’s conviction for his senseless act. Accordingly, the laws of this state have been carried out. It is my prayer that, with tonight’s events, Miss Harvelle’s family can finally have closure.”

Ray became a Muslim in prison, since at least 2006 his lawyer believes.

Before Ray took his final breath, he challenged the decision of Prison officials who would only allow their own Christian chaplain to offer him solace from inside the execution chamber, the NPR reported.

Moreover, the Prison officials said they could only allow Ray’s imam, Yusuf Maisonet to only watch him from the next room due to the security risk to let someone into the execution room.

Ray was executed by lethal injection Thursday night.

“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. I am beyond appalled at the willingness of Steve Marshall and the State of Alabama to treat a human being differently because he was part of a religious minority. We are better than this,” Hahn said.

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