Appeals court to hear case over prison visits

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EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal appeals court is set to hear a case brought by Kentucky death row inmates challenging the rules governing how and when pastors may visit them at the Kentucky State Penitentiary.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has scheduled oral arguments in the case for May 9 in Cincinnati.

Five death row inmates sued the Department of Corrections in 2011 accusing the Corrections Department and prison of violating their First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion. The prison system changed its policy in 2010 requiring inmates to place pastors on one of three slots on an inmate's visitation list to meet with them one-on-one.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell dismissed the inmate's lawsuit a year ago.