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Texas executions delayed over religious rights claims

elisfkc2 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — The unresolved legal debate over whether spiritual advisers can touch inmates and pray aloud as condemned individuals are being put to death has delayed the final two executions scheduled this year in Texas. The delays come as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments next month in the case of another Texas death row inmate on the role of spiritual advisers in the death chamber. Judges last week rescheduled the executions of Kosoul Chanthakoummane and Ramiro Gonzales, both of whom were set to die in November. The inmates claimed Texas was violating their religious freedom by not allowing their spiritual advisers to pray aloud and place a hand on their bodies at the time of their deaths.  

Associated Press

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