The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Professor Mark Rienzi worked on an amicus brief, which defended a prisoner's right to have a Buddhist priest present during his execution. The brief was mentioned in articles published by The Washington Times and The New York Times

The Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for Buddhist man in Texas. Although the prison would have allowed the prisoner to have a chaplain in the room, they refused to allow the presence of a Buddhist priest. Professor Rienzi and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty worked on the only amicus brief filed in the case.

Supreme Court Stays Execution of Buddhist Inmate

From: The New York Times 
By: Adam Liptak
Date: March 28, 2019

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a supporting brief urging the justices to require prison officials to let Mr. Shih into the execution chamber. “The guidance of the soul at the moment of execution — the moment at which the knife falls — has for centuries been well recognized as a crucial moment of religious exercise calling for a minister’s guidance,” the brief said. “This court should recognize that our Constitution and civil rights laws support a right to that guidance.”

. . .

Click here to read The New York Times article.

Click here to read The Washington Times article.

Mark Rienzi  

Professor Mark L. Rienzi's
Areas of Expertise

Religious Liberty

Free Speech


Fourteenth Amendment

For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.