Supreme Court intervenes in a Texas death row chaplain controversy, having punted on the Alabama case a month ago



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.

  1. Delay the execution and fight what will clearly be a losing battle at the Supreme Court.

  2. 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.

Thomas really is a sack of ■■■■

Why are they even fighting this? Who cares if his spiritual advisor is there?

Are you kidding me? Do we not have important matters to deal with in this country? Newsflash…this isn’t one of them. If the person being executed wants a Buddhist priest with him as he/she dies…so be it. That’s NOT an unreasonable request. Politicians are being sworn in using the Qur’an and there’s no objection. This shouldn’t be one either.

I read about this last night. The SCOTUS screwed this all up.

Great post! You really nailed it!

I do.

Why do you care?

I’m a Christian. I have to.

In the words of Borat, “you joke?”

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Have either Thomas or Gorsuch (thanks, McConnell!) indicated why they would have denied the application?

separation of …

the convicted and life

Oh…did you object? Sorry, I wasn’t aware.

They might allow politicians to get sworn in using the Qur’an in Washington D.C. but this is Texas! In Texas you don’t have to right to some fancy pants “Buddhism spiritual adviser” or whatever that means with you when you die. You get a Christian or nothing at all in Texas. No Supreme Court Justices, in their silly black robes, is going tell Texas what to do.


What does this have to do with me? That’s a strange reaction…I’m asking if you are seriously contending there was no objection to Muslim congresspeople being allowed to do their duty while still adhering to their faith.

Now there’s a good question if you go beyond “Muslim”

How and when?

So do you believe that the Buddhist spiritual adviser should be allowed in the execution chamber?

How is this even an Issue are people really this religiously insane in America?

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I think its a very important matter to the person who is about to be executed.