The state said Monday that it has already removed pork from its menus in response to the lawsuit brought by condemned inmate Abdul Awkal, who argues the prison system's failure to provide halal meals is a restraint on his religious freedoms.
Awkal, joined by a second inmate not on death row, says the vegetarian and non-pork options offered by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction aren't good enough. The inmates say food must be prepared in specific fashion, such as ensuring that an animal is butchered by slitting its throat and draining its blood, to conform to Islamic beliefs.
"The issue of eating Halal meals is especially important to me because I face a death sentence," Awkal said in a filing in federal court earlier this year. "It is important to me that I follow the requirements of my faith as I approach death."