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Texas Execution and Shari'a Law

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The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is probably not the ideal venue for an appeal to Shari'a law.  Yet in this petition on behalf of double-murderer (and would-be triple murderer) Mark Stroman,* counsel notes on page 8, "It is perhaps ironic, given the 9/11 spark that precipitated these tragedies, that Islamic (or Shari'a) law would not permit executions under these circumstances."

Stroman went hunting for "people of Middle East descent in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," Michael Graczyk reports for AP.  He shot three people, two of whom died.  The one he is set to be executed for killing was not from the Middle East and apparently not a Muslim:

He is set to die Wednesday for one of [the killings], the gunning down of Vasudev Patel, 49, in October 2001 at a gas station and convenience store in Mesquite, just east of Dallas. Patel had moved from India to Texas in 1983 and was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
The defense is making much of the claim that the surviving victim, Rais Bhuiyan, wants to forgive Stroman for religious reasons.  Fine, Mr. Bhuiyan, forgive him.  But that is not the crime he is being executed for, and Mr. Bhuiyan has no special standing to grant forgiveness for the killing of someone else.

Bhuiyan said the slain clerks' relatives agree Stroman should be spared, but prosecutors dispute that, saying Patel's widow "specifically informed the state she wishes to express no opinion regarding Stroman's impending execution." The Dallas County District Attorney's office also said Tuesday she does not want to speak to the media.
The Fifth Circuit opinion last December is here.  The docket page for the US Supreme Court certiorari petition is here.  The docket for the stay application is here.  The Texas CCA's denial of the successive petition last Thursday is here.  The docket for the certiorari petition seeking review of that decision is here.  Stay application is here.

* In the petition linked above, counsel spells the petitioner's name with an umlaut: Ströman.  I don't generally use special characters on this blog.  If the reader's browser isn't set for them, they come out as garbage.  German umlaut vowels are traditionally transcribed in English with a trailing "e," as in Schroeder or Mueller.  However, for this post I have followed the spelling in the press and the court dockets and ignored the umlaut.

3 Comments

How many gazillion times have we heard about how imperative it is to maintain the wall between church and state? This seems to be subject to cancellation without notice when the subject of capital punishment comes up. Then it's Piety Plus.

Usually, it's something like, "What would Jesus do?" Now, it seems, it's "What would Mohammed do?"

Answer: In a secular country applying secular and democratically adopted law, it doesn't make a particle of difference.

Religion informs law, and many people think this is a good thing. But it does not dictate law, not in this country.

P.S. For however all that may be, I have grave doubts that Shari'a law does, in fact, forbid execution in these circumstances.

I wonder why he used the umlaut.

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