Skip to comments.Supreme Court Rules Favorably Toward Inmate Requesting Priest at Execution
Posted on 01/27/2021 6:03:45 PM PST by marshmallow
Washington D.C., Jan 25, 2021 / 12:55 pm MT (CNA).- The Supreme Court on Monday ruled favorably toward a Catholic death row inmate requesting the presence of a priest at his execution.
In a set of orders released on Monday morning, the court vacated a ruling of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court against Ruben Gutierrez, a Catholic death row inmate in Texas challenging the state’s prohibition of chaplains at executions.
In addition to vacating the Fifth Circuit Court ruling, the Supreme Court also sent Gutierrez’s case back to lower courts for reconsideration, in light of findings by a district court that a chaplain inside the state execution chamber wouldn’t present security concerns.
One attorney at the religious freedom legal group Becket said the decision was a win for religious freedom, and called on the state of Texas to stop fighting Gutierrez’s case in court and provide him with a priest at his execution.
Eric Rassbach, attorney at Becket, called the ruling an “important” victory for religious freedom and called on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice “to take the hint and reinstate the centuries-old practice of affording comfort of clergy to the condemned.”
Gutierrez was sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of Escolastica Harrison, an 85-year-old woman, during an attempted robbery. He has maintained his innocence, saying he was part of the robbery but did not commit the murder of Harrison.
He had requested that his prison’s Catholic chaplain be present in the execution chamber at his death. Gutierrez’s request was denied due to a 2019 state execution protocol prohibiting chaplains in the execution chamber.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicnewsagency.com ...
Of course they did, but you can’t visit your loved who is dying in a hospital or nursing home, nor hold a funeral for them.
I’ve got no problem with this.
Well, that’s a relief. Now I can sleep at night.
Maybe Texas will start executing by gas.
What kind of government leech would be against this? It’s only common sense and humanity to allow a priest at an execution.
Refusing access to religious practice at the moment of death is pretty much the definition of cruel and unusual.
There are some truly disgusting people on this thread.
What do you mean by that?
The Prohibition shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
“It’s only common sense and humanity to allow a priest at an execution.”
Normally I would agree.
But what if then his lawyer said, “It’s unsafe to have a priest here because of Joevid-19. So we call for a stay of execution. My client has a right to spiritual council.”
Ever hear of a hazmat suit? Whatever ppe is required but there is NO reason to deny a priest if that is the prisoners wishes.
You have no idea how desperate and sleazy defense attorneys can be.
Lawyers make their bones finding ways to usurp justice, just so they can say they did it, decency and fairness be damned. Then they all laugh about it at their DNC fundraising cocktail parties.
It’s a cynical joke. i.e. If TX wants to prevent priests from being in the chamber, they switch to gas, which would kill anyone else in there besides the prisoner.
At the hanging of Jack McCall, who murdered Wild Bill Hickock, a Catholic priest was on the scaffold. McCall is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Yankton, South Dakota not far from the execution site.
The preacher talked with me and he smiled
Said “Come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile
Now for once in your life you’re alone
But you ain’t got a dime, there’s no time for the phone”
I am amazed that any state would have such a prohibition.
I am doubly amazed that the state is Texas.
I thought that was one of the perks of being executed, a pastor/priest depending on denomination..
The guy could have a shaman or witch doctor present and I wouldn’t care a bit as long as the execution goes thru.
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