(RNS) —  Charles L. Burton Jr. doesn’t want to be alone when he dies.

The death row inmate hopes a federal court will make sure that does not happen.

Burton, who was sentenced in 1992 for participation in a murder during a robbery, filed suit last year after the state of Alabama denied a Muslim inmate from having an imam serve as a spiritual adviser at his execution, citing state policy that only allowed Christian clergy to serve as chaplains in the death chamber.

In response, the state barred all spiritual advisers, a move criticized by Spencer Hahn, one of Burton’s lawyers.  

“They’re wrong legally, they’re wrong constitutionally. Morally they’re wrong,” Hahn said.

Burton’s lawsuit is expected to be heard in court in 2021.


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