Alabama executes Muslim inmate after battle over imam's attendance

Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray was executed for the 1995 murder of a 15-year-old girl.
Caption
Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray was executed for the 1995 murder of a 15-year-old girl.

Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections

Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections

A Muslim inmate in Alabama, who claimed his religious rights were violated when the state refused to allow his imam at his side for his execution, was put to death Thursday night, AL.com reported.

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Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray was executed by lethal injection for the 1995 fatal stabbing of Tiffany Harville, 15, of Selma, Alabama, after the U.S. Supreme Court vacated his stay of execution, WTVM reported.

Ray's execution was set for 6 p.m. at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore but was delayed until the Supreme Court ruling. When the stay was lifted at 8 p.m., the execution began at 9:44 p.m., AL.com reported. The official time of death was 10:12 p.m, the website reported.

Ray's execution comes 20 years after he was put on death row, as he was also serving a life sentence for the slayings of two teenage boys in 1994, AL.com reported.

Ray’s last words were in Arabic, the website reported. He made a hand signal consisting of a closed fist with his index finger pointed.

In a statement, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said, “Ray’s long-delayed appointment with justice is finally met.”

Ray's attorney, Spencer Hahn, said the imam visits monthly with 10 death row inmates, CNN reported.

"Domineque was a devout Muslim and a human being. He was a son, a father, a brother. He wanted equal treatment in his last moments," Hahn told AL.com. "I am beyond appalled at the willingness of Steve Marshall and the State of Alabama to treat a human being differently because he was part of a religious minority. We are better than this."