In urging the justices to deny a stay of execution, Ken Paxton, Texas’ lawyer common, a Republican, stated Mr. Ramirez had engaged in litigation gamesmanship. For example, Mr. Paxton wrote, Mr. Ramirez had at one level requested solely that his pastor be current and needn’t contact him.
The Supreme Court docket has taken a wide range of approaches to fits by which dying row inmates requested that their religious advisers be current to consolation them throughout their executions,
In 2019, for example, the court docket allowed by a 5-to-4 vote the execution of an Alabama inmate, Domineque Ray, a Muslim whose request that his imam be current had been denied. On the time, Alabama allowed solely a Christian chaplain employed by the jail system to supply religious steering to condemned inmates throughout their final moments.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the dissenters in 2019, stated the bulk was “profoundly improper.” Beneath Alabama’s coverage, she wrote, “a Christian prisoner could have a minister of his personal religion accompany him into the execution chamber to say his final rites.”
“But when an inmate practices a unique faith — whether or not Islam, Judaism or another — he could not die with a minister of his personal religion by his facet,” Justice Kagan wrote.
A couple of weeks later, the court docket confronted an analogous case from Texas and got here to a unique conclusion, staying the execution of a Buddhist inmate whose request that his religious adviser be current within the execution chamber had been denied.
In a brief, unsigned order, the court docket stated that Texas couldn’t execute the inmate, Patrick H. Murphy, “until the state permits Murphy’s Buddhist religious adviser or one other Buddhist reverend of the state’s selecting to accompany Murphy within the execution chamber through the execution.”