Boots & Sabers

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1936, 07 Feb 19


Federal Court Stays Execution Because Murderer Couldn’t Have Imam in the Room

This is an interesting case which illustrates why people hate lawyers.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama after the state refused to allow his imam to be at his death instead of a Christian prison chaplain.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit granted an emergency stay of execution for 42-year-old Domineque Ray one day before he was scheduled to be put to death for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville more than two decades ago in Selma, Alabama. The Alabama attorney general’s office has asked the United States Supreme Court to vacate the stay and let it proceed with the execution scheduled for Thursday evening, according to court documents.

“The central constitutional problem here is that the state has regularly placed a Christian cleric in the execution room to minister to the needs of Christian inmates, but has refused to provide the same benefit to a devout Muslim and all other non-Christians,” a panel of three district judges wrote in their decision Wednesday.


The Alabama Department of Corrections has agreed to exclude the prison chaplain from the death chamber, but a district judge on Friday denied Ray’s initial request for a stay of execution. The judge wrote that Ray waited “until the eleventh hour” to make his legal claim, it’s a matter of safety and security, and Ray’s imam, who is not a department of corrections employee, is “untrained, inexperienced and outside the state’s control.”

So the issue is that the prison has traditionally provided the condemned with spiritual comfort with a Christian chaplain in the death chamber. In this case, the condemned is Muslim, so he wanted an Imam. Fair enough. The prison said that the Imam can be in the visitors’ gallery, but not in the death chamber because he isn’t an employee and isn’t trained. That seemed like a reasonable accommodation, right? That wasn’t good enough for the Appeals Court, so justice will be delayed again.

What’s going to happen here? The prison only has two options. Either they can hire a spiritual leader from every faith or they just stop offering the condemned any religious comfort whatsoever in the room. Given the impracticability of the former, they will do the latter.

Meanwhile, the family of the poor little girl who was butchered by this beast will have to wait even longer for justice to be served because a bunch of lawyers are jerking around with something that could have been solved in a conversation.


1936, 07 February 2019



  1. Mark Hoefert

    Maybe Alabama needs to revisit it’s policy to determine the necessity of having the spiritual leader “trained”, experienced, and within state control”.  Sometimes “policy” is trotted out as rationale for the government actions or inactions – without any plausible rationale for the policy itself.  Another thing would be look to other states how they handled theirs – I saw that in Delaware a Native American inmate had a spiritual ceremony conducted before he entered the death chamber.  Perhaps spiritual leaders of any persuasion do not belong in the death chamber.  It has to be consistent.

    As it is, in Alabama there were 3 executions in 2017 & 2 in 2018.   I hope the spiritual leader is not a full time position.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    Why does government have to hire someone to help speed this guy to the fires of hell?

    He seems to know the way and is determined in his false religion to get there.

    The Christian Chaplin would be the only contact to possibly change his eternal direction by sharing the Holy Spirit.

    Any other hire here would be like hiring someone to burn down a house that is already on fire. Total waste of time.

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    Besides, In Islam, there is no forgiveness..or grace.

    It is a miserable religion because Allah can throw you into hell on a whim, even if you were the best, kindest, most charitable Muslim ever. This guy hardly qualifies for that category.

    Why does he even need an Islamic spiritual advisor if forgiveness and grace is not even possible? False gods do not dispense any grace or forgiveness.

    Hell is still his destination.

  4. Kevin Scheunemann


    Did you read the link?

    Repentance is Islam is “works driven”.  You must do works to cancel or endure punishment of sin.

    No Muslim, ever, has the sure hope of forgiveness, short of Jihad.

    Even if one is truly sorry, and has done good works to “earn forgiveness, Allah can still reject in his anger and send the Muslim to hell.

    We can go deeper into this theological discussion, but I don’t think you are ready.

    Muslim’s have no sure hope of salvation like Christians.


  5. Le Roi du Nord


    Your last bit of religion based hate is why I prefer not to belong to ANY organized religion unless it is accepting of other ideas, thoughts or opinions.  Your version of christianity certainly isn’t.

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    This is the problem with your denial of absolute truth…

    You think man made, false ideas are equal (or better) than absolute truth of Jesus.

    You have a giant equivalency challenge.

    Better you hear it from me than the judgement seat of God and Jesus says, “I don’t know you”.

    You still have time, while you walk in the grace of this life.

  7. Le Roi du Nord


    What disgusts folks like me is your insistence that your version, and only your version, of the “absolute truth” is the only truth, and that the beliefs of others that may differ from yours are wrong.  Your ego rules everything you do, and that is abhorrent.

    And, like I have always said, at the end of the day you and I will be in the same place.  Any time you can prove otherwise I’m all ears.  Until then all you have have to go on is a ~2000 year old book of fairy tales derived from pagan beliefs.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    So when you say we will all “end up in same place”, you are not proclaiming an absolute truth on your part?

    It must be horrible living in your world.   At the end of your life, you will get the same “reward” as Hitler, even though you were a much better human being than him?

    Sounds like a very unfair world you live in.


  9. Le Roi du Nord


    Nope, I’m saying that the biological processes of decay will be the same for both of us.

    The horrible part of my world is knowing that there are hateful, intolerant and willfully ignorant folks like you out there, and that they think they are the sole practitioners of the “absolute truth”.

  10. Kevin Scheunemann


    I never said I was sole practitioner of absolute truth. There are a ton of Christians out there that live in grace of Jesus and know he is the only way to salvation.

    My concern is: you can not tolerate the truth.

    Try some of that tolerance you talk about.

    The biological process will not be same for us. Upon Jesus return my body will be raised up and glorified and believers on earth will be raptured to meet Jesus in the sky.

    Where will you be?

  11. MjM

    SCOTUS overturned the 11th today. Cased closed. Justice served.

    Aside from the SCOTUS two-paragraph slapdown of the 11th (“Because Ray waited until January 28, 2019 to seek relief, we grant the State’s application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh ”), the there is nothing in the Alabama statutes that require the presence of any spiritual adviser.

  12. Owen


  13. Le Roi du Nord


    OK, then that ton of christians (less than 2 dozen out of a world population of billions) may be as misguided as you.

    2+2=4 is truth.  Claiming the earth is 6000 years old isn’t.

    I tolerate all sorts of stuff, but will speak up when someone willfully lies to me.

    You can believe whatever you want, but than claim is made without any proof or evidence to back it up.

    Same place as you; dust.

    FYI: A US ton is 2000 pounds.

  14. Kevin Scheunemann


    I love it, the guy with a Nihlist attitude is lecturing me how “misguided” I am for sharing grace and hope in Christ.

    It’s like getting a sermon from Bill Clinton about marital fidelity. That would be both sad and hilarious at same time also.

  15. Le Roi du Nord

    No Nihlist here, I’m a pretty optimistic guy.  I don’t see evil wherever I look, nor am I afraid of any and everyone different than me.  I’ll leave the Nihlism to you….

  16. Le Roi du Nord

    FYI: The proper spelling is nihilist, from the Latin, nihil.

  17. Kevin Scheunemann


    So are you saying you don’t pass into oblivion after you die?

    Sorry I disrupted your life with that typo.   It’s depressing to see others without eternal hope in Jesus.

  18. Le Roi du Nord

    Nope, you said that.  Like I have told you before, trying to put your words into other peoples mouths just makes you look foolish.  You sure are a slow learner.

  19. Kevin Scheunemann


    Then explain what happens to your soul after death?

    Is this executed Muslim burning in hell, or not?

  20. Le Roi du Nord


    Again, you are making assumptions based on no evidence.

  21. Kevin Scheunemann


    For someone unwilling to commit to the idea of whether you have a soul, why do you get in a twist about those of us that are sure?

  22. Le Roi du Nord


    How can you be “sure” if you have no proof?  What proof do you have that you are right and I am wrong?  You are making some really big assumptions…

  23. Kevin Scheunemann


    If you doubt soul’s existence, why do you care if I spout off about my hope and assurance of my souls destination?

    If it is a useless appendage to you, why do you care if I preach usefulness?

  24. jjf

    Back to the topic!

    How about we don’t hire religious advisors with public money?

  25. Kevin Scheunemann


    If we, as a government, are going to terminate evil, and speed that evil to fires of hell, the decent thing to do is provide a spiritual advisor that can direct and hopefully help the evil become repentant and direct them home to heaven.

    To do anything else, that would be evil.

  26. Le Roi du Nord


    As I have said numerous time, I don’t care what you believe.  But I care about the falsehoods you try to pass off as fact, or your version of the “absolute truth”.  Your avoidance of fact is evil.

  27. Kevin Scheunemann


    I was only trying to discern what you believe happens to our soul after death.   You clearly indicate you do not like my view.    I was only curious how your view is different, if any.  Why is that such a touchy subject for you?

    You are about as clear on this topic as you are about denouncing baby killing.


  28. jjf

    Kevin, which religion’s advisors should be hired with my tax dollars?  Yours?

  29. Kevin Scheunemann


    Just the Christian Chaplin.

    There is only one way to avoid hell.

    Hiring someone else to speed unrepentant evil to a place they are already going is a complete waste of resources, and denies absolute truth.

    Why would you want to reinforce false belief?

  30. Le Roi du Nord

    Mighty exclusive of you, k.

    Whose belief?  That’s right, yours is the only one that matters…

  31. Kevin Scheunemann


    Absolute truth is external and universal.

    It is not dependent on internal decision making. If it was: the Holy Spirit is not at work.

  32. Le Roi du Nord

    Universal, eh?  You sure don’t promote that universality at all.

  33. Kevin Scheunemann

    What happens to your soul after death is “universal”.

    You fail to state what you think happens to your soul at death.

    No courage?

  34. jjf

    The Founding Fathers didn’t want to cement Christianity into law.  They went out of their way to avoid that.

  35. Kevin Scheunemann


    That is incorrect.   “Cementing” means not mandating Christianity.   You cannot mandate the grace of Christ.  The founders ceratainly wanted to encourage Christianity on every level.   your statement implies the founders did not want Christianity to increase.   Nearly all of them knew that christianity was neccessary to make a thriving, blessed nation.

    Here, all this Muslim killer had to do was say, “I don’t want the chaplin”.

    Problem solved.

  36. jjf

    I see…  Salvation my way or the highway, hmm?  You don’t want to give him his kind of salvation.

    What’s the societal benefit from “delivering salvation” to someone you’re about to kill?  Where’s the pro-lifers when you need them?

  37. Kevin Scheunemann


    Salvation, without Jesus, does not exist.

    It would be foolish to renforce such a delusion.   That would be the devil’s work.

  38. Le Roi du Nord


    Doubling down on exclusion.  Pretty intolerant of you.

  39. Kevin Scheunemann


    No Exclusion.

    Stating the truth.

    Jesus wants everyone to be home with his in heaven.

    Choose evil, by rejecting Jesus, he grants your wish by casting you out of his prescence.

    Since all good things come from God, living in a place where he witholds his attributes, hell, is not a good place to be.

  40. jjf

    He’s not an anti-Semite, though.  He’s just anti-everything-not-Christian.

    Where do people get the impression that so many MAGA-ites hate so many foreigners as well as so many of their fellow Americans?  It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

  41. Le Roi du Nord


    Your version of the truth.  You need to be a bigger thinker.

  42. Kevin Scheunemann


    Then bring your “diversity” to the table.

    What happens to your soul when you die?

    Or do you deny your soul exists?

  43. Le Roi du Nord

    The same thing as yours, POOF !  If you claim I am wrong, provide evidence in support.

  44. Kevin Scheunemann


    Not clear on what you mean.

    Soul blinks out of existence?



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