The ongoing appeals that continue to delay the execution of Brownsville death row inmate Ruben Gutierrez are now prompting a review of a Texas prison system policy change.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week ordered the case back to Brownsville federal court for a judicial review of a recent rule prohibiting spiritual advisors from the death chamber.
The state had initially allowed chaplains, who were either Christian or Muslim, to be with the inmate inside the execution chamber. But that was until an inmate asked for a Buddhist priest. The state couldn’t accommodate the request so it ended the practice altogether.
Gutierrez, who is Catholic, is claiming that’s a violation of his religious freedom. A Brownsville federal judge will now review the legality of the new prison system policy.