On November 28, 2005, a death-sentenced inmate at the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore, Maryland filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Maryland state law against the Maryland Department of Correction in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland. The plaintiff asked ...
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On November 28, 2005, a death-sentenced inmate at the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore, Maryland filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Maryland state law against the Maryland Department of Correction in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland. The plaintiff asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants' lethal injection procedures violated his rights because it required the administration of chemicals not authorized by statute and because they do not require a continuous intravenous administration of a short acting barbiturate. The plaintiff alleges that this lack created a substantial likelihood that he would be subjected to torture in violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. He further alleged that the defendants had failed to follow Maryland law (Md. Code Ann., State Gov't §3-905) in adopting their execution protocol because it had not been formally adopted under the Maryland Administrative Procedure Act (MAPA), thereby depriving the state's citizens of the opportunity to ensure that executions were carried out in a proper and humane manner and increasing the risk that executed prisoners would suffer unnecessarily during their executions.
The day after the complaint was filed, the defendants filed a motion for removal of the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1441 and 1446. On November 30, 2005, the plaintiff asked the court to remand the case back to the state court, arguing that the case "touches a sensitive area of social policy upon which the federal courts ought not to enter unless no alternative to its adjudication is open."
On December 1, 2005, the District Court (Judge William D. Quarles, Jr.) denied the plaintiff's motion to stay the execution, finding that the plaintiff raised this complaint merely to delay his execution and that the plaintiff was not harmed by any procedural defect in the adoption of the lethal injection protocol because such a defect did not lead to adoption of a cruel and unusual means of executing him. The court also denied the plaintiff's motion to remand the case back to the state court, finding that the gravamen of the complaint - that the state's execution protocol is cruel and unusual punishment - favors adjudication in the federal courts.
On December 2, 2005, the plaintiff filed a motion asking the District Court to dismiss the complaint that he had filed, and the court granted the motion to dismiss in a paperless order on the same day.Kristen Sagar - 09/04/2007