ADOC policy re: execution and spiritual advisors

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Alabama Department of Corrections of Alabama .
Est. Completion None
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Fix Required

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Alabama Public Records , I hereby request the following records:

All ADOC policies regarding who can and cannot be present in the execution chamber.

Such policies are described in the attached Office of the Attorney General response to the motion to stay execution filed by Domineque Ray, as well as in the 11th Circuit's order staying execution.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Alabama Department of Corrections

I have received your request for information.

You will need to follow the Department's procedure to request public records by completing the Public Records Request Form, which I have attached for your convenience, (the request form can be found on our website at http://www.doc.alabama.gov/ under request public records for future reference) and submit it along with a $25.00 processing fee. The processing fee payment must be submitted in the form of a cashier's check or money order made payable to the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Once we receive your completed request form and processing fee, we will review our records for documents responsive to your request. If we determine there are records responsive to your request, we will notify you of the estimated costs to produce the records. Payment of the estimated costs must be paid before we begin production of the records. Upon completion, we will provide you with an invoice of any final costs. No records will be made available until the final costs are paid.

The procedure to request public records, including our fee schedule, is further explained in the public records request form.

Please note that we do not produce documents electronically in connection with public records requests.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Rosie Shingles
Research & Planning Division
334-353-9541

From: Shawn Musgrave

Dear Ms. Shingles -

Thank you for your quick response. As I said in my voicemail to you just now, I am a reporter and law student requesting this policy in light of the numerous legal challenges brought by Dominique Ray, who was executed last night by lethal injection, per news reports. (See https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alabama-executes-muslim-inmate-who-wanted-imam-present-n969191.)

I will send the request form by separate email so as to protect my private information.

As I also said in my voicemail, I hope that ADOC will waive the $25 processing fee and cashier's check requirement in recognition that this document should be made public immediately. Based on my quick review of policy, I believe this $25 fee is discretionary and waivable.

The Eleventh Circuit opinion determined this policy — which was not provided to Mr. Ray nor, as far as I can find, is currently public — might "facially [constitute] a denominational preference." There are few public interests stronger than knowing whether a government practice is constitutional. Rather than put administrative hurdles before this compelling public interest in this policy's disclosure, I hope you will both waive the fee and release this policy immediately.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: Alabama Department of Corrections

Mr. Musgrave,

The processing fee cannot be waived. This non-refundable fee must be included with the submission of the Public Records Request form.

This minimum fee must be made by cashier’s check or money order only. Upon receipt of the fee we will begin processing your request.

Sincerely,

Rosie Shingles

Research & Planning Division

334-353-9541

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