*A federal judge has rejected the civil rights lawsuit of a former inmate who claimed that federal law on prisoners’ religious rights requires prisons to provide things like sweat lodges and raw meat for practicing the Wicca religion.
Judge Philip Pro rejected the suit filed by Scott Fletcher when he was serving a sentence at High Desert State Prison in Nevada for first-degree murder. He was granted parole in January.
Pro ruled that prison regulations didn’t pose a substantial burden on Fletcher’s exercise of his religion or pressure him to abandon his beliefs.
The judge noted that Fletcher could still practice Wicca even if his requests were denied.
Pro ruled that building and operating a sweat lodge and handling and cooking raw meat posed safety threats and health hazards.