Texas Inmate Claims to be Vampire, Federal Court Disagrees

Courtney Royal had sued to practice his vampiric religious beliefs behind bars but the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was unswayed by his arguments.
Fri June 8, 2012 9:38 pm
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Would a vampire avail himself of the American legal system? Well, one Texas inmate who claims to be a Vampire High Priest tried to do just that. But he was dealt a blow Thursday when the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed his nine-page lawsuit, dubbing it frivolous. (For a lesson in frivolity, the judges should watch more True Blood .)

Courtney Royal, who is called "Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest" in court documents, simply wanted to be able to practice his "religious beliefs related to vampires" behind bars, the Associated Press reported. These beliefs, he argued, were drawn from "West African spiritualism and 18th Century Catholicism" and "marked by prayer to Africans reincarnated by blood. He argued it was no different from 'unproven' Christian beliefs," the AP reported.

Royal, 40, is serving a life sentence at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville for multiple counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.

"Royal asserts, without further explanation, that he intends to raise on appeal issues involving summary judgment; religious items, food diets, and service; spirit advisor; black Bible; and 'rugs, rode, [and] beads.' He does not address the district court’s certification that his appeal was not taken in good faith, nor does he address any of the district court’s reasons for its certification decision. ... his appeal is DISMISSED as frivolous," the judges wrote in their two-page dismissal of the lawsuit.

Royal vs. TDCJ

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