The Supreme Court Feb. 7 refused to intervene in a case from Alabama concerning a Muslim prison inmate on death row whose request to have an imam with him in the execution chamber was denied.
Domineque Ray's request was not unusual, as death-row inmates are routinely given access to clergy and spiritual counselors. However, officials at Holeman Correctional Facility said they would only allow the prison's own Christian chaplain to be present in the room during the execution.
Ray had sought a stay of execution while the matter was resolved. A lower court agreed with him, but the Supreme Court, ruling 5-4 in Dunn v. Ray, reversed and said that Ray was not entitled to a stay because he filed his request too late.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for three other justices (Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg) criticized the court majority for giving preference to Christianity.
Kagan said the prison's...