Inmate executed Thursday despite religious appeal

Published 4:22 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

On Thursday night at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Domineque Ray was put to death by lethal injection for the 1995 rape and murder of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville of Selma.

Ray’s execution was able to proceed due to a last-minute ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning a lower court’s ruling that halted the execution over a religious freedom appeal made by Ray’s legal counsel.

Lawyers had contended that the Alabama Department of Correction’s refusal to allow a Muslim imam to be by the inmate’s side during the execution was a violation of Ray’s religious rights.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled, in a 5-4 vote, that Ray’s execution could proceed because he waited too long to file his request for a stay.

After Ray’s execution, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall both released statements.

“It is my duty as the Governor of Alabama to uphold the laws of our state,” Ivey said. “A role I hold with much reverence is ensuring that justice is done, by both the victims and the convicted. Due to the nature of his crime, the decision of a jury to condemn him to death and because our legal system has worked as designed, Mr. Ray’s sentence was carried out.”

Ivey noted in her statement that Ray was “convicted by a jury of his peers” for a “senseless act.”

“Accordingly, the laws of this state have been carried out,” Ivey said. “It is my prayer that, with [Thursday’s] events, Miss Harville’s family can finally have closure.”

In his statement, Marshall noted that Ray had been sentenced for the double murder of teen brothers Earnest and Reinhard Mabins.

“For 20 years, Domineque Ray has successfully eluded execution for the barbaric murder of a 15-year-old Selma girl,” Marshall said. “In 1995, Ray brutally deprived young Tiffany Harville of her life, repeatedly stabbing and raping her before leaving her body in a cotton field. A jury gave him a death sentence for this heinous crime.”

Marshall ended his statement by saying that Thursday “Ray’s long-delayed appointment with justice” was finally met.