Actually it’s not clear which came first, the convictions for killing or the conversion to Islam. Theoretically, both take the majority of freedoms away. Except it won’t be surprising if these Muslims get halal food and time to plan their next kills pray together.
PROVIDENCE — Sunni Muslim inmates serving time at the maximum-security unit of the Adult Correctional Institutions are suing prison administrators, accusing them of violating their rights by denying them meals that comply with their faith and the freedom to pray together.
The Muslim Brotherhood of the Islamic Faith alleges in a suit filed in U.S. District Court that correctional officers routinely taunt them by calling them terrorists and the Taliban. The inmates say the guards threaten to retaliate against them for their complaints by placing them in isolation.
A Department of Corrections lawyer has denied the allegations and argues the case should be dismissed because the administrators were acting in good faith and not with deliberate disregard for the prisoners’ needs or rights. The Muslim Brotherhood had failed to exhaust administrative remedies under the Department of Correction’s inmate-grievance policies and practices. Alleged violations of prison regulations do not rise to a constitutional dimension, the department said.
The dismissal motion is under consideration by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacob Hagopian.
The Muslim Brotherhood members who brought the lawsuit include Alvin Smith, convicted of stabbing two children to death in 1988; Shea Cook, serving time for murdering a stripper and tossing her body in a Connecticut river; and Simeon Briggs, who shot and killed two strangers as they left a city nightclub in 2003.
They are representing themselves, led by Corey Day, who is doing time for burglarizing the Ocean Tides school. They seek unspecified damages and ask the court to order meals that conform with their faith.
According to the complaint, the inmates say they are being denied their right to religious freedom because they are not being allowed to openly pray together in the yard or library. Their faith dictates they pray to Allah five times a day. They complain they are not permitted to wear Kufi caps to express their spirituality, while Christian prisoners are allowed to wear crosses.
In addition, the inmates argue they are given four slices of bread, three of cheese, and a vegetable in response to requests they be offered a diet that complies with their faith. The rest of the population eats meat loaf, hot dogs and fried chicken, they said.
There is a feast at the end of Ramadan that includes chicken, collard greens, sweet potatoes, canned corn, soda, rice and corn bread.
Collard green Ramadan. Just when you though you’d heard it all. Is there no death penalty in Rhode Island?
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