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The newest member of the United States Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh has explained why he voted to stay an execution for a Buddhist death row inmate who was being denied a spiritual leader in the death chamber, but refused to do the same for a Muslim man.
Kavanaugh voted to allow a delay for Patrick Murphy, 57, of Texas, a Buddhist man who was told his Buddhist priest could not accompany him during his final hours.
Delay - Dominique - Ray - Alabama - February
However, he voted against allowing a delay for Dominique Ray, 42, of Alabama, who was executed in February without his requested Imam at his side.
Kavanaugh said in his writing on Monday that it came down to a failure of Ray's legal team to raise the issue of equal treatment based on religion under the First Amendment, which Murphy's defense did, and he was granted a delay in his March execution in Texas.
Move - Supreme - Court - Justice - Samuel
In a rare move, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito responded to Kavanaugh by issuing a new statement in the case of Murphy on Monday, arguing that the stay should not have been granted in either case.
Murphy is still alive today, and his execution has not yet been rescheduled, according to online records published by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Murphy - Part - Group - 'Texas - Seven
Murphy was a part of the group called the 'Texas Seven' who killed a police officer after escaping from prison in 2000. Murphy was in prison serving a 55-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault.
In his stay of execution case, the state of Texas argued that only chaplains who had been extensively vetted by the prison system were allowed in the death chamber and that while Christian and Muslim chaplains were available, no Buddhist priest was.
Court - Murphy - Reprieve - March - Time
The high court ultimately granted Murphy a temporary reprieve in March. At the time, only Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Neil...
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