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Case Name Bowling v. Haas CJ-KY-0001
Docket / Court 3:07-cv-00032-KKC ( E.D. Ky. )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On January 23, 2007, three inmates sentenced to death at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky filed a lawsuit under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 28 U.S.C. §1331, and the Federal Controlled Substances Act (FCSA), 21 U.S.C. §801, against the Kentucky ... read more >
On January 23, 2007, three inmates sentenced to death at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky filed a lawsuit under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 28 U.S.C. §1331, and the Federal Controlled Substances Act (FCSA), 21 U.S.C. §801, against the Kentucky Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that the defendants' means for obtaining the chemical used in executions, sodium thiopental, a controlled substance, violates the FCSA and the FFDCA because no licensed medical practitioner prescribes it for use in lethal injections. The plaintiffs also argued that the defendants' use of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride in lethal injections violates the FFDCA because those substances had not been approved by the FDA for use in lethal injections.

On January 31, 2007, the Court (Judge Karen K. Caldwell) dismissed the claim without prejudice, finding that the plaintiffs were required to exhaust administrative remedies before filing their lawsuit. Bowling v. Haas, No. 07-CV-07-KKC, 2007 WL 403875 (E.D.Ky. Jan. 31, 2007). The plaintiffs subsequently sought administrative remedies, which were denied by the defendants, and re-filed the lawsuit on May 22, 2007.

On August 15, 2007, the Governor of Kentucky scheduled plaintiffs' executions for September 25, 2007. Since the Court had yet to rule on its jurisdiction to decide the merits of the case or on whether the plaintiffs had stated a claim upon which relief could be granted, one of the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion on August 24, 2007, for a preliminary injunction barring the defendants from executing him on the scheduled date.

On March 12, 2008, the Court (Judge Karen K. Caldwell) denied the emergency motion for preliminary injunction as moot. The need for such injunctive relief was obviated shortly thereafter when the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a stay of execution on September 12, 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently granted the plaintiff's petition for a writ of certiorari in Bowling v. Rees, Civil Action No. 04-CI-1094, Franklin Circuit Court, a case initiated in the Kentucky state courts raising a functionally-identical challenge to Kentucky's implementation of its lethal injection protocol. Because the stay of execution entered by the Kentucky Supreme Court on September 12, 2007, was still in effect, and appeared likely to remain so pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, the plaintiff's motion seeking injunctive relief was denied as moot.

On September 23, 2010, in a published Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court (Judge Karen K. Caldwell) dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint with prejudice, holding the statutes do not expressly or impliedly provide the plaintiffs with a private right of action to enforce their requirements, and because the plaintiffs would be barred from pursuing any such claims under principles of claim preclusion. On the same day, the Court entered a judgment in favor of the defendants.

(Updated on 03/11/2012)

Xin Chen - 03/11/2012


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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 None on record
Defendant(s) Kentucky Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description three death-sentenced inmates at the Kentucky State Penitentiary
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 2010
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing CJ-KY-0002 : Baze v. Rees (State Court)
Docket(s)
(E.D. Ky.) 09/23/2010
CJ-KY-0001-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/23/2007
CJ-KY-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order Dismising Complaint 01/31/2007 (2007 WL 403875 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 7556) (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Complaint (2nd) 05/22/2007
CJ-KY-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Amended Complaint 06/18/2007
CJ-KY-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Support of Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction 08/24/2007
CJ-KY-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Order 03/20/2008 (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 02/23/2010 (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Caldwell, Karen K. (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0001-0005 | CJ-KY-0001-0006 | CJ-KY-0001-0007 | CJ-KY-0001-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barron, David M. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0001-0001 | CJ-KY-0001-0002 | CJ-KY-0001-0003 | CJ-KY-0001-0004 | CJ-KY-0001-0007 | CJ-KY-0001-9001
Palombi, John Anthony (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0001-0001 | CJ-KY-0001-0002 | CJ-KY-0001-0003 | CJ-KY-0001-0004 | CJ-KY-0001-0007 | CJ-KY-0001-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Cummings, John C. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0001-9001
Middendorf, Jeffrey T. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0001-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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