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Case Name Patton v. Jones CJ-OK-0003
Docket / Court 5:06-cv-00591-F ( W.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On May 31, 2006, Eric Allen Patton, a death-sentenced inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Patton complained to the ... read more >
On May 31, 2006, Eric Allen Patton, a death-sentenced inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Patton complained to the Court that the defendants had been misrepresenting the lethal injection process as a peaceful way to induce death, and that in reality, lethal injection was an excrutiatingly painful process, described by witnesses as "overwhelming, stunning, and disturbing." Patton alleged that the reason lethal injection was so painful was because the state used an "ultrashort-acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent," and he claimed that the anesthesia used during the lethal injection process would wear off, allowing him to feel torturous pain that he could not express due to the use of the paralytic agent, which would leave him conscious but unable to move or breathe. He asked the Court to enjoin the defendants from using their lethal injection protocol during his execution, and to declare that their protocol was unconstitutional.

On July 13, 2006, the defendants asked the District Court to dismiss Patton's claim, arguing that he had already brought this same claim in a previous lawsuit, and that he was therefore barred from relitigating the issue. On August 4, 2006, the District Court (Judge Stephen P. Friot) refused to dismiss the case and denied the defendants' motion, finding that the plaintiff's previous lawsuit was different enough to allow him to bring this lawsuit separately.

Patton, who was scheduled to be executed on August 29, 2006, asked the District Court to stay his execution while the lawsuit was progressing. The District Court refused to grant the stay of execution or the injunction that he'd asked for, and he appealed. On August 25, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Judges Robert Harlan Henry, Mary Beck Briscoe, and Terrence L. O'Brien) affirmed the District Court's decision. The Tenth Circuit denied Patton's request to stay his execution, finding that he had unnecessarily delayed bringing this complaint. Patton v. Jones, 193 Fed.Appx. 785 (10th Cir. Aug 25, 2006).

On August 29, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's request to hear the case. Patton v. Jones, 165 L.Ed.2d 1008 (2006). Later that day, Eric Allen Patton was executed by lethal injection. The next day, the District Court closed the case.

Kristen Sagar - 09/11/2007


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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) Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description a death-sentenced inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
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 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
5:06-cv-00591-F (W.D. Okla.) 08/30/2006
CJ-OK-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/31/2006
CJ-OK-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 06/05/2006
CJ-OK-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support 07/13/2006
CJ-OK-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion to Dismiss] 08/04/2006 (2006 WL 2246441 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 54429) (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0003-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment 08/25/2006 (193 Fed.Appx. 785)
CJ-OK-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Denial of Certiorari 08/29/2006 (548 U.S. 936)
CJ-OK-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Administrative Closing Order 08/30/2006 (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Briscoe, Mary Beck (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0003-0005
Friot, Stephen P. (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0003-0004 | CJ-OK-0003-0007 | CJ-OK-0003-9000
Henry, Robert Harlan (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0003-0005
O'Brien, Terrence L. (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0003-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Braden, Scott W. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-0001 | CJ-OK-0003-0002 | CJ-OK-0003-9000
Earley, William P. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-9000
Otto, Susan M. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Mann, Richard Neal (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-0003 | CJ-OK-0003-9000
Metcalfe, Gregory T. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-0003 | CJ-OK-0003-9000
Whittaker, Robert L (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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