Supreme Court Says Inmate Is Entitled To His Spiritual Adviser In Execution Chamber

Late last night, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-2 vote, ruled in favor of Buddhist prisoner Patrick Murphy who wanted his Buddhist spiritual adviser to be present in the execution chamber when his execution, scheduled for last night, was carried out. A Texas federal district court had upheld the decision of prison authorities to allow only the prison's Christian chaplain to be in the room with Murphy. His Buddhist clergyman could be in the adjacent viewing room. (See prior posting.) In Murphy v. Collier, (Sup. Ct., March 28, 2019), the U.S. Supreme Court held:The State may not carry out Murphy’s execution pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari unless the State permits Murphy’s Buddhist spiritual advisor or another Buddhist reverend of the State’s choosing to accompany Murphy in the execution chamber during the execution.Justices Thomas and Gorsuch voted against granting a stay of execution. Justice Kavanaugh…

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