(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-4 to allow the execution of an Alabama inmate, who wanted his imam to witness his death.
Attorneys for Dominique Ray, 42, had argued that Alabama's execution policy favors Christian inmates because a chaplain is allowed in the room, often kneeling next to the death row prisoner, and praying with the inmate if asked.
Ray had asked his imam to replace the chaplain in his death chamber.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed on Wednesday to stay Thursday's planned execution to weigh Ray's arguments, but the state of Alabama quickly appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned the Circuit Court.
Ray was sentenced to death in 1999 for the killing of Tiffany Harville, 15, who disappeared from her Selma, Alabama home in July 1995.
It was not immediately clear if the state of Alabama would go through with the execution on Thursday night following the Supreme Court order.
(Reporting by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)