University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Moore v. Rees CJ-KY-0003
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-00022 ( E.D. Ky. )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On April 19, 2006, the plaintiff, a death row inmate in Kentucky represented by private counsel, filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Corrections, the warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary, the medical director of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, and the governor of ... read more >
On April 19, 2006, the plaintiff, a death row inmate in Kentucky represented by private counsel, filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Corrections, the warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary, the medical director of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, and the governor of Kentucky in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The plaintiff sought a temporary restraining order, injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his Eighth and Thirteenth Amendment rights to protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants' current method of lethal injection was unconstitutional because it created an unnecessary risk that the plaintiff would be tortured to death. The plaintiff was at a heightened risk due to damaged and compromised veins that made it difficult and potentially impossible for an I.V. to be inserted in the traditional way. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to ensure that personnel administering the lethal injection were properly trained, they did not have the means to appropriately monitor consciousness, and did not have adequate equipment to maintain life if a last minute stay of execution was granted after the first or second of the three chemicals had been administered.

The plaintiff asked the Court to bar the defendants from carrying out any execution until they had promulgated a rule officially detailing all aspects of the procedures used in the execution process. On April 26, 2006, the plaintiff filed a similar complaint in the Kentucky Circuit Court for Franklin County.

After the case was filed, several other inmates intervened and joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs. The Franklin Circuit Court held a full trial in the case of Bowling and Baze, holding that the state's lethal injection method did not violate their Eighth Amendment rights. They appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court, who affirmed the decision on November 22, 2006. Baze v. Rees, 217 S.W.3d 207, 2006 WL 3386544 (Ky. 2006). Baze and Bowling filed their motions to intervene in this action five days later.

On March 30, 2007, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction barring the defendants from scheduling or carrying out their executions. The Court also denied the plaintiffs' motion requesting a deposition from the governor of Kentucky about how he would respond if the execution was postponed. The plaintiffs' motion to compel disclosure of the Kentucky Department of Corrections' electrocution protocol was denied as was their facial challenge to the constitutionality of electrocution. The Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for permission to depose the defendant execution team members.

On October 13, 2015 the Court considered whether the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the statute of limitations under Cooey v. Strickland, whether their claims survived the Supreme Court decision in Baze v. Rees, and whether their claims were rendered moot by subsequent revisions to Kentucky's lethal injection protocol.

First, the court concluded that the plaintiff's claims were barred by the statute of limitations. In Cooey v. Strickland the Sixth Circuit considered the accrual of method-of-execution claims and determined that the claim accrues upon the conclusion of direct review of the prisoner's underlying conviction and sentence in the state courts. The Court determined that the plaintiffs' claims accrued on March 31, 1998 and that the one-year statute of limitations for asserting personal injuries applied; thus, the plaintiffs needed to have filed their claims on or before March 31, 1999.

Because the plaintiff's claim was time-barred, the Court did not reach a formal conclusion regarding whether the plaintiff's claims survived the Supreme Court decision in Baze v. Rees. Finally, the plaintiffs conceded that the adoption of an entirely-new lethal injection protocol over the course of several years between 2010 and 2013 rendered many aspects of their original claim moot. The Court therefore concluded that the plaintiffs' challenge to Kentucky's since-superseded lethal injection protocol was subject to dismissal on mootness grounds. The Court dismissed the plaintiffs' case with prejudice on October 13, 2015.

Xin Chen - 03/11/2012
Anna Jones - 02/22/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Death Penalty
Lethal Injection - General
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Kentucky Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description A death-sentenced inmate 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 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing CJ-KY-0002 : Baze v. Rees (State Court)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
(E.D. Ky.) 10/31/2012
CJ-KY-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:06-cv-00022 (E.D. Ky.) 10/13/2015
CJ-KY-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [. . .] 04/19/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief 04/19/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (State Court) 04/26/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Second Notice of Supplemental Information 05/03/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff-Intervenor [Leonard] 06/16/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Moore's Response to Jeffrey Leonard's Motion to Intervene 06/16/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer [to the Complaint] 06/20/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Motion for Summary Judgment 06/21/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0014.pdf | Detail
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief [Intervenor Leonard] 08/25/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [. . .] 08/25/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Thomas Clyde Bowling's Emergency Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff-Intervenor 11/27/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Ralph Baze's Emergency Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff-Intervenor 11/27/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Order [Denying Dismissal and Granting Summary Judgment] 11/30/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0016.pdf | Detail
Order [re: Supplemental Brief filings] 12/08/2006 (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Summary Judgment and Granting Dismissal] 12/27/2006
CJ-KY-0003-0015.pdf | Detail
Roger Dale Epperson's Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff-Intervenor 03/19/2007
CJ-KY-0003-0013.pdf | Detail
Memorandum and Opinion 03/30/2007 (2007 WL 1035013 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 23844) (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0021.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Moore’s Memorandum of Law on Whether his "Bad Veins" Prevent his Execution and Whether the Statute of Limitations bars his Claims 04/18/2007
CJ-KY-0003-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Appellees Addressing Issues Identified in the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order Entered March 30, 2007 05/17/2007
CJ-KY-0003-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Emergency Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Barring Ralph Baze's Execution Pending the Supreme Court of the United States' Disposition of the Petition for Certiorari in Cooey v. Strickland 08/26/2007
CJ-KY-0003-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 09/25/2007 (2007 WL 2809844) (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 10/13/2015 (2015 WL 5945651) (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 10/13/2015 (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Caldwell, Karen K. (E.D. Ky.)
CJ-KY-0003-0012 | CJ-KY-0003-0019 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-0022 | CJ-KY-0003-0023 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
McNamara, Sam (State Trial Court)
CJ-KY-0003-0015 | CJ-KY-0003-0016
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balliet, Susan (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0001 | CJ-KY-0003-0002 | CJ-KY-0003-0003 | CJ-KY-0003-0004 | CJ-KY-0003-0006 | CJ-KY-0003-0014 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Barron, David M. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0001 | CJ-KY-0003-0002 | CJ-KY-0003-0003 | CJ-KY-0003-0004 | CJ-KY-0003-0005 | CJ-KY-0003-0006 | CJ-KY-0003-0008 | CJ-KY-0003-0010 | CJ-KY-0003-0011 | CJ-KY-0003-0013 | CJ-KY-0003-0014 | CJ-KY-0003-0017 | CJ-KY-0003-0020 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Palombi, John Anthony (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0010 | CJ-KY-0003-0011 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Thomas, Marguerite Neill (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0001 | CJ-KY-0003-0002 | CJ-KY-0003-0003 | CJ-KY-0003-0004 | CJ-KY-0003-0005 | CJ-KY-0003-0006 | CJ-KY-0003-0008 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Combs, Brenn Oliver (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Cummings, John C. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0018 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Harris-Ray, Holly (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0007 | CJ-KY-0003-0009 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Middendorf, Jeffrey T. (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0007 | CJ-KY-0003-0009 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Self , Thomas (Kentucky)
CJ-KY-0003-0007 | CJ-KY-0003-0021 | CJ-KY-0003-9000 | CJ-KY-0003-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -