Washington D.C., Jan 25, 2021 / 12:55 pm
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.