On July 20, 2005, two death-sentenced inmates of 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. Anderson and Taylor complained to the Court that the lethal injection procedure used by the defendants during executions violated the Constitution by inflicting enormous amounts of pain on the executed prisoner. Specifically, they claimed that the defendants 1) violated medically approved procedures by failing to employ properly trained people to inject the anesthesia, 2) arbitrarily and unnecessarily used drugs and drug dosages that created significant risks that the condemned prisoner would suffer unnecessary pain, 3) used a sequence of drug administration that delays administration of the anesthetic until after the prisoner is dead, 4) delivered the drugs through alternating IV lines, impairing control over the timing and sequence of drug delivery and increasing the risk of drug administration failure. Due to these concerns, the plaintiffs asked the Court to stay their executions and to enjoin the defendants from using the lethal injection procedure that they normally used.
On August 15, 2005, the case was referred to Magistrage Judge Bacharach. On September 6, 2005, the defendants asked the Court to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, arguing that the Anderson and Taylor had failed to show any likelihood that their claim would succeed at trial. On December 20, 2005, Judge Bacharach filed a report stating that the plaintiffs had demonstrated that they had a viable claim and recommending that the District Court should overrule the defendants’ motion to dismiss. On January 11, 2006, the District Court (Judge Stephen P. Friot) adopted the Magistrate’s recommendation and overruled the motion to dismiss. Anderson v. Evans, 2006 WL 83093 (W.D.Okla. Jan. 11, 2006).
On December 19, 2006, the parties initiated a settlement conference and sought asistance from the court. On February 22, 2007, the parties held their settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Doyle Argo. On March 6, 2007, the parties entered a joint motion asking the District Court to stay the case and place it in abeyance for a period of one year. We’re not sure exactly why the defendants agreed to put off the case for a year, but their motion mentions “recent developments in Plaintiff Anderson’s habeas case” and states that neither of the plaintiffs would “face execution during the abeyance period, or for some time thereafter.” The District Court agreed to place the lawsuit on hold for a year.
On June 19, 2007, Plaintiff Anderson asked the Court to allow him to withdraw from the case. Apparently, he had been re-sentenced to life in prison without parole, so he was no longer facing execution. On July 10, 2007, the District Court (Judge Friot) allowed Anderson to withdraw from the case, and the case was renamed “Taylor v. Jones.”
On June 8, 2009 the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed the case without prejudice because the remaining named defendant lacked standing. The District Court held that "the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's denial of the plaintiff's writ of habeas corpus and remanded with instructions to grant the writ as to his conviction and execution subject to the State's right to re-try the case within a reasonable time." Accordingly, the District Court found that the issue was moot as to Plaintiff Taylor, which called for a dismissal of the case.
The Docket shows that the case was terminated as of June 8, 2009.Kristen Sagar - 03/20/2012