Condemned inmate says state violating his religious rights

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A Muslim inmate scheduled to be executed next week in Alabama says the state is violating his rights by requiring a Christian prison chaplain in the execution chamber.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, inmate Domineque Ray said the warden refused his request to have a Muslim imam stand in the execution chamber instead of the prison chaplain during the lethal injection. Ray said the warden also refused his request to not have the Christian chaplain present during his execution.

Ray is scheduled to be executed Feb. 7 for the 1995 fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville.

The Alabama Department of Corrections’ practice is to have a correctional officer and the state’s prison chaplain in the death chamber. Inmates can visit with their own spiritual adviser before the execution.

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