Did You Know?

Two men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019  11:25 pm EST

 

Dominique Ray has been executed by the state of Alabama. Click here to read more.

 

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019  9:25 pm EST

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to uphold the stay of execution granted to Dominique Ray by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  They also rejected a separate appeal for a request to stay the execution.  By lifting the stay of execution, and rejecting the request for another stay, Alabama can proceed with the execution.

 

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019  8:35 pm EST

 

Dominique Ray was scheduled to be executed earlier this evening.  He was granted a stay of execution by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The state has appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States to have the stay lifted.  The Supreme Court of the United States has not yet ruled on the case.  The execution warrant for Dominique is valid until midnight local time.  Once that time passes, a new execution will have to be requested by the state.

 

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019  4:18 pm EST

 

Dominique Ray has been given access to a Quran while in his death watch cell.   

 

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019  10:35 am EST

 

Dominique Ray has filed a suit with US District Judge Keith Watkins, claiming that he has not been allowed to have a Quran since he was moved to his death watch cell on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.  Ray was permitted to bring his prayer rug into the cell.  Although a stay of execution has been issued for Dominique, multiple appeals continue in his case, both at the state courts and federal courts, including multiple appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2019  9:33 pm EST

 

Dominique Ray has been granted a stay of execution by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay, ruling that Alabama was violating Dominque's First Amendment right by prohibiting his right to free exercise of religion and favoring one religion over another.  As it is part of Alabama protocol to have a Christian chaplain in the execution chamber, it has violated the First Amendment by refusing to allow a Muslim Imam.  Additionally, the court found that there was no reasonable expectation that Dominique would be aware his request to have an Imam present in the execution chamber would be denied, nor that he knew a Christian chaplain was nearly always present in the execution chamber, which is the reason for the late appeal.  For these reasons the emergency stay of execution was granted.  Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to vacate the stay of execution.

 

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019  2:33 pm EST

 

Dominique Ray is continuing to request a stay of execution, arguing that his religious rights are being violated.  Ray has filed a motion before the US Court of Appeals, arguing that the Alabama Department of Corrections is violating his religious rights by refusing to allow his Muslim spiritual advisor, an imam, to be present in the execution chamber during the execution.  The imam is allowed to view the execution from behind glass.  Traditionally, a Christian chaplain has been present in the execution, however, the Alabama Department of Corrections has agreed that the chaplain does not have to present for Ray's execution.  In refusing to allow the imam to be in the execution chamber, the Alabama Department of Corrections cites security reasons, in addition to it being against protocol for a non-employee who is not familiar with the execution process to be in the execution chamber.  

 

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2019  11:01 am EST

 

Dominique (Domineque) Hakim Marcelle Ray is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.  Forty-two-year-old Dominique is convicted of murdering 15-year-old Tiffany Harville on July 15, 1995, in Dallas County, Alabama.  Dominique has spent the last 19 years on death row in Alabama.

 

Dominique’s parents divorced when he was in elementary school because his father was having an affair.  Growing up, Dominique also witnessed his parents physically fighting, as well as other men hitting his mother.  Several witness produced at his trial testified that Dominique was a good friend and neighbor, who was supportive and non-violent.

 

On July 15, 1995, Tiffany Harville was left home alone, while her mother attended a workshop.  When her mother returned home the following afternoon, Tiffany was not there and had not been seen since the previous evening.  Tiffany’s mother made efforts to locate her daughter, with Dominique Ray offering his assistance in locating her by posting fliers and even offering reward money.

 

On August 16, 1995, Tiffany’s remains were found by a farmer working in the field.  Police continued to follow leads and search for suspects, eventually arresting and charging Rod Suttle at the end of 1995.  However the charges against Suttle were later dismissed

 

On April 18, 1997, Ray, who was in custody at a local jail for an unrelated crime, revealed to investigators that he had witnessed Tiffany’s murder.  Ray identified Suttle as the man who murdered Tiffany and three female associates as complicit in the crime.  Ray later picked Suttle out of a police line-up.  

 

On August 18, 1997, Marcus Owden, after experiencing a spiritual awakening, voluntarily approached the police and implicated himself and Ray in the murder of Tiffany.  Upon questioning, Ray admitted that his earlier statements had been false.

 

On the night of July 15, 1995, Ray and Owden picked up Tiffany.  The two men had allegedly agreed to ask her for sex, and if she refused, to “take it.”  Each of the men raped her, although Ray insists he just acted like he did and that he had never agreed to rape her.  After raping her, they killed her.  According to Owden, Ray slit her throat and then stabbed her, with himself joining in.  Ray claims that Owden produced the knife and killed Tiffany, after she threatened to report the sexual assault.  Ray claims he did not inflict many stab wounds.

 

Owden testified substantially at Ray’s trial, including the following reason for his decision to come forward about the crime: “I began to read my Bible, and I began to seek the Lord. And my heart started to hurting because of what we had did, because of what God put in my heart. And that’s what brought me forward because my heart was hurting.”

 

Ray was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Tiffany.  In February 1999, Ray also was tried for the February 4, 1994, murder of Earnest and Reinhard Mabins, two brother ages 13 and 18, who were shot to death in their home.  Owden also participated in the Mabins’ murder and confessed to the police when he told them about Tiffany’s murder.  Ray received a life sentence for the murder of the two Mabins’ children.  For his role in the murders Owden is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

 

Ray is seeking to have his execution stayed, as his request to have his Muslim spiritual advisor with him in the execution chamber has been denied.  Ray has also asked that the Christian chaplain not be present in the execution chamber.  That request has been granted by the Alabama Department of Corrections.  Ray is also claiming that requiring him to have an autopsy after his execution violates his religious beliefs.  Ray is professed Muslim.  In the court filing, his lawyers are arguing that refusing his religious requests is a violation of his First Amendment rights, along with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Chief U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama has rejected Ray's request for a stay of execution.  In his decision, Judge Watkins criticized Ray's lawyers for not filing the appeals months ago, when the execution was first scheduled.  Attorneys for Ray plan to appeal Judge Watkins' decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Ray also filed an additional appeal for a stay of execution, arguing that he wished to be executed by nitrogen-hypoxia, which was made legal in Alabama last year.  Inmates were given until July 1, 2018, to request execution by nitrogen-hypoxia.  Ray waited until just days before his scheduled execution to make his request.  Judge Watkins dismissed the request.

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Tiffany Harville.  Please pray for strength for the family of Dominique Ray.  Please pray that if Dominique is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Dominique may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

 

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