University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Beardslee v. Woodford CJ-CA-0007
Docket / Court 04-5381 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On December 20, 2004, and inmate at the California State Prison at San Quentin filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of California. The plaintiff, who was scheduled to be executed by lethal ... read more >
On December 20, 2004, and inmate at the California State Prison at San Quentin filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of California. The plaintiff, who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, asked the court to enjoin the defendants from carrying out the execution, arguing that the lethal injection procedure inflicts unnecessary pain and torture in violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

On January 7, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Judge Jeremy Fogel) denied the plaintiff the requested relief, holding that he brought the lawsuit in order to unnecessarily delay the execution. Beardslee v. Woodford, No. 04-5381, 2005 WL 40073. The plaintiff appealed. On January 14, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision and denied the plaintiff's request for a stay of execution, finding that the inmate had failed to establish a likelihood that he would be conscious during administration of the lethal drugs. Beardslee v. Woodford, 395 F.3d 1064 (9th Cir. 2005). The plaintiff appealed. On January 18, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the petition for certiorari. Beardslee v. Woodford, 543 U.S. 1096 (2005).

Donald J. Beardslee was executed on January 19, 2005 by lethal injection.

Kristen Sagar - 08/27/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Death Penalty
Lethal Injection - General
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description A death-sentenced prisoner under the supervision of the California Department of Corrections alleging that his execution pursuant to California's lethal injection protocol would violate his constitutional rights
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
04-5381 (N.D. Cal.) 10/11/2005
CJ-CA-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 12/20/2004
CJ-CA-0007-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motions for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and for Expedited Discovery 01/07/2005 (2005 WL 40073) (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0007-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Appeal 01/14/2005 (395 F.3d 1064)
CJ-CA-0007-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Appeal 01/18/2005 (543 U.S. 1096)
CJ-CA-0007-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Fogel, Jeremy D. (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0007-0003 | CJ-CA-0007-9000
O'Connor, Sandra Day (SCOTUS)
CJ-CA-0007-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lubliner, Steven Samuel (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0001 | CJ-CA-0007-0002 | CJ-CA-0007-0003 | CJ-CA-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Robert R. (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0003
Engler , Gerald A. (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0002 | CJ-CA-0007-0003
Gillette , Dane R. (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0002 | CJ-CA-0007-0003 | CJ-CA-0007-9000
Lockyer, Bill (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0002 | CJ-CA-0007-0003
Matthais, Ronald Stephen (California)
CJ-CA-0007-0002 | CJ-CA-0007-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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