HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Latest on the scheduled execution of a member of 'Texas 7' gang of escaped prisoners (all times local):
Attorneys for a Texas death row inmate have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his lethal injection until a Buddhist minister can be present with him in the execution chamber.
Patrick Murphy's lawyers argue that executing the 57-year-old "Texas 7" member without his spiritual adviser present would violate his right to religious freedom. Murphy became a Buddhist almost a decade ago while incarcerated.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday denied a request to stay his execution on the same grounds, upholding a lower court decision.
Murphy is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was convicted in the shooting death of a Dallas-area police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery in 2000.
Attorneys for a death row inmate say his pending execution is unconstitutional because he never fatally shot a suburban Dallas police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery more than 18 years ago.
Patrick Murphy's lawyers say the 57-year-old shouldn't be executed Thursday night because he wasn't a major participant in the December 2000 robbery in which Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins was killed by the notorious "Texas 7" gang of escaped prisoners.
If Murphy's appeals fail and he is executed, he'd be the fourth person put to death in the U.S. this year.
Murphy was convicted under Texas' law of parties, which holds a person criminally responsible for the actions of another if they are engaged in a conspiracy.