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Case Name In Re: Williams CJ-OH-0002
Docket / Court 2:03-cv-01277-JLG-TPK ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On December 31, 2003, Lewis Williams and John Roe, who were both death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern ... read more >
On December 31, 2003, Lewis Williams and John Roe, who were both death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Williams and Roe asked the Court to stay their executions and issue an injunction against the defendants' use of their current lethal injection protocol, which they alleged would violate their Constitutional rights by torturing them to death. Specifically, they feared that the short-acting anesthetic used by the defendants would wear off too soon, allowing them to feel the excrutiatingly painful effects of the potassium chloride that was used during the lethal injection process. In addition, they argued that the defendants' use of pancuronium bromide would paralyze them, making them unable to cry out or alert their executioners that the anesthetic had worn off too soon.

The defendants argued that the complaint was in reality a successive habeas petition, which needed to be transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and that the District Court had no jurisdiction over the claim. On January 6, 2004, the District Court (Judge James L. Graham) construed the petition as a successive habeas petition and transferred the case to the Sixth Circuit.

On February 3, 2004, the Sixth Circuit granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case, ruling that this was a successive habeas petition, and that the plaintiffs had not met the requirements for filing a successive habeas petition. The plaintiffs sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, and on March 5, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

Lewis Williams was executed by lethal injection on January 14, 2004.

John Roe was executed by lethal injection on February 3, 2004.

Kristen Sagar - 09/10/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Death Penalty
Lethal Injection - General
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Plaintiff Description two death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:03-cv-01277-JLG-TPK (S.D. Ohio) 03/05/2004
CJ-OH-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiffs' Original Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief . . . 12/31/2003
CJ-OH-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Opinion and Order [Transferring the Action to the Sixth Circuit] 01/06/2004 (S.D. Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Opinion 01/13/2004 (540 U.S. 1146)
CJ-OH-0002-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 02/03/2004
CJ-OH-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Supreme Court Denial of a Writ of Certiorari 03/05/2004 (540 U.S. 1206)
CJ-OH-0002-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald (SCOTUS, First Circuit)
CJ-OH-0002-0005
Clay, Eric L. (Sixth Circuit)
CJ-OH-0002-0003
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
CJ-OH-0002-0005
Graham, James L. (S.D. Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0002 | CJ-OH-0002-9000
Kemp, Terence Peter (S.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
CJ-OH-0002-0001 | CJ-OH-0002-0002 | CJ-OH-0002-9000
Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (W.D. Ky., Sixth Circuit, E.D. Ky.)
CJ-OH-0002-0003
Souter, David Hackett (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
CJ-OH-0002-0005
Stevens, John Paul (SCOTUS, Seventh Circuit)
CJ-OH-0002-0005
Suhrheinrich, Richard Fred (Sixth Circuit, E.D. Mich.)
CJ-OH-0002-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bodiker, David (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001
Dixon, Robert Aloysius (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001 | CJ-OH-0002-9000
Doughten, David L (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001
Ferrell, Stephen A. (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001 | CJ-OH-0002-9000
Meyers, Gregory William (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001
Tkacz, Ruth L. (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-0001 | CJ-OH-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hamilton O'Brien, Carol Anne (Ohio)
CJ-OH-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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