A Muslim inmate on death row who wanted an imam present during his execution has been killed after his request was rejected.

Lawyers for Dominique Ray had argued Alabama’s execution policy favoured Christian prisoners because a chaplain is allowed into the execution chamber.

But the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the execution to go ahead, denying the 42-year-old’s request.

Ray was then executed by lethal injection on Thursday night at the state prison in Atmore, as originally planned.

It was the state’s first execution this year.

The legal team for the state had argued only prison staff are allowed in the execution chamber for security reasons.

Ray’s imam, Yusef Maisonet, watched the execution from an adjoining witness room.

There was no Christian chaplain in the chamber, a concession the state agreed to make.

Asked by the warden if he had any final words, Ray spoke of his faith in Arabic.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals had on Wednesday delayed the execution over the religious arguments.

The US Supreme Court overturned the move, citing the fact that Ray did not raise the challenge until 28 January as a reason for the decision.

Ray was sentenced to death in 1999 for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville, who disappeared from her home in Selma, Alabama, in July 1995.

Her decomposing body was discovered in a cotton field a month later.

(c) Sky News 2019: Muslim inmate executed after state refuses to let in imam