Alito Weighs In Late On Buddhist Inmate's Request For His Spiritual Adviser At His Execution

As previously reported, late on March 28, the U.S. Supreme Court In Murphy v. Collier ruled in favor of Buddhist prisoner Patrick Murphy who wanted his Buddhist spiritual adviser to be present in the execution chamber when his execution was carried out. At that time it was indicated that Justices Thomas and Gorsuch voted against granting the stay. This week, on May 13, Justice Alito filed an opinion (full text) dissenting from the grant of the stay. Justices Thomas and Gorsuch joined the opinion.In the present case, Murphy cannot overcome the presumption against last-minute applications. As I will explain, see Part III, infra, his religious liberty claims are dependent on the resolution of fact-intensive questions that simply cannot be decided without adequate proceedings and findings at the trial level. Those questions cannot be properly resolved in a matter of hours on a woefully deficient record. But that is precisely what Murphy asked of the lower courts and this…

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