Faith Leader Letter for Christopher Young
Christopher (Chris) Young was sentenced to death in Bexar County in 2006. He was convicted of killing 55 year old Hasmukhbhai Patel during a robbery of Patel's mini-mart/dry cleaners in San Antonio in 2004.
Young’s attorneys are challenging his conviction and seeking a new trial based on what they consider a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Their appeal specifically cites the fact that during jury selection in Young’s trial, a potential juror was struck from service based on her religious affiliation and her association with her Baptist church’s outreach ministries program.
While we might not agree on the morality of capital punishment, we agree that religious affiliation shouldn't be the basis for throwing someone off a jury.
The attorneys argue such religious discrimination is impermissible and must be remedied in this case. They now seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court, which soon will consider whether to consider the case.
Young’s attorneys would like to draw national media attention to this case when their petition reaches the Justices for consideration. We are seeking signatures from faith leaders nationwide on a letter of support. They intend to release the letter to the media, along with the list of signatories (name, affiliation, city and state), in mid-to-late February.