Prisoner sues the New Mexico Corrections Department, hoping to win his right to worship Satan more freely and get $140,000 in damages.According to Albuquerque news vendor KRQE.com, Bernard Pritchard claims that the chaplain and deputy warden at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces treated his faith differently than others.
“Defendants denied plaintiff a reasonable opportunity of pursuing his faith comparable to the opportunity afforded to fellow prisoners who adhere to conventional religious precepts,” wrote Pritchard in the lawsuit, which he filed pro se (IE: he doesn't have a lawyer).
Apparently Pritchard didn't spell out precisely how the prison violated his rights or what the prison officials prevented him from doing.
The department has declined to comment about the lawsuit, but their deputy director of adult prisons, Anthony Romero, told reporters they did their best to safely accommodate every inmate’s religious beliefs.
“[They have been] given a right to practice those faiths and we want to make sure that we’re respectful of their rights,” he said.
New Mexico's Corrections policy includes guidlines for 19 different religious groups.