Jewish inmate death row William harry meece Sabbath pray cell - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Ky. inmate loses suit over Sabbath rituals

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Kentucky's only Jewish inmate on death row has lost his bid to gain access to religious facilities at the state penitentiary after a state appeals court found he could pray in his cell.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that 40-year-old William Harry Meece is allowed to pray in his cell, but security reasons prevent officials at the Kentucky State Penitentiary from moving him alone or with other inmates to a religious facility.

Meece sued the state and alleged that prison officials violated his legal right to observe the Sabbath.

Appeals Judge Laurence Van Meter ruled that prison officials were correct in determining that Meece cannot be mixed with general population inmates.

Meece is awaiting execution for the deaths of three people in Adair County in 1993.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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