PATRICK HENRY MURPHY v. BRYAN COLLIER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, ET AL.
ON APPLICATION FOR STAY
No. 18A985. Decided March 28, 2019
The application for a stay of execution of sentence of death presented to JUSTICE ALITO and by him referred to the Court is granted. 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.
JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE GORSUCH would deny the application for a stay of execution.
JUSTICE KAVANAUGH, concurring in grant of application for stay.
(Note: Kavanaugh’s concurrence can be found at the above link.)
The difference between the Alabama case and the Texas case is that the Justices reached the conclusion that Murphy timely filed his objection, whereas the Alabama plaintiff did not.
Texas has 2 options going forward.
Delay the execution and fight what will clearly be a losing battle at the Supreme Court.
Give in to the inevitable and let the Buddhist spiritual adviser in the death chamber. The execution would likely take place in a timely manner.
If Texas takes Option 1, there are clearly 5 votes for a Supreme Court ruling requiring that either all spiritual advisers be allowed in the death chamber and in the alternative, excluding all spiritual advisers from the death chamber.
Texas has a zero chance of prevailing, absolutely no chance whatsoever. There are clearly 5 votes and I suspect 7 votes in favor of Murphy’s stance.