The state of Alabama (USA) today executed Domineque Ray, who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in 1995 and who a year earlier had killed two brothers for not joining his gang .
Ray, a 42-year-old African-American, was pronounced dead at 2212 local time (04.12 GMT Friday) after receiving a lethal injection at Atmore’s Holman prison, the Alabama Department of Corrections reported.
The last words of Ray, who was Muslim, were in Arabic.
The execution came after an arduous legal battle that ultimately resolved the Supreme Court in which the defendant reported that the state of Alabama violated his religious rights as a Muslim by not allowing his imam to assist him in the death chamber.
Alabama, however, does allow the Christian priest who works for his prison system to assist in executions.
Ray was sentenced to death for the 1995 summer murder of young Tiffany Harville.
Court documents indicate that Ray and his accomplice, Marcus Owden, who is serving a life sentence, took Harville to a cotton plantation in Selma, Alabama, where she was raped and beaten to death.
Harville’s body, abandoned on the plantation, was not found until a month later.
A year earlier, in February 1994, Ray and Owden had already killed brothers Earnest and Reinhard Mabins, aged 18 and 13 respectively, because they refused to join their gang.
These three crimes remained unresolved until in 1997 Owden experienced a “spiritual awakening” and confessed to the authorities, who also arrested Ray.
In February 1999, Ray was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of the Mabins brothers, and months later to death for the crime against Harville. Owden, on the other hand, is serving a life sentence for his role in the three crimes.
Today was the second execution of the year in the United States and the number 1,492 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Of those 1,492, Alabama has been responsible for 64. (EFE) .-