University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Boltz v. Jones CJ-OK-0001
Docket / Court 5:06-cv-0587-F ( W.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On May 30, 2006, John Albert Boltz, a death sentenced inmate 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. Boltz's was scheduled to ... read more >
On May 30, 2006, John Albert Boltz, a death sentenced inmate 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. Boltz's was scheduled to be executed on June 1, 2006 by lethal injection, and he complained to the Court that the specific lethal injection method used by the defendants would allow him to experience an unconstitutionally high level of pain during the process. Specifically, he objected to the use of a short-acting anesthetic, which he claimed would wear off before the process was complete, leaving him in excrutiating pain from the injection of potassium chloride. He also complained that the use of a paralytic agent during the process would render him unable to alert the executioners that the anesthetic had worn off, trapping him in a paralyzed body, racked with pain, but unable to cry out. He asked the Court to enjoin the defendants from using this protocol and to declare that it was unconstitutional.

On June 1, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma (Judge Stephen P. Friot) issued a temporary restraining order, forbidding the defendants from executing Boltz for four more weeks, which give the Court time to have a hearing in the case. The defendants appealed this order, and on the same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Judges Deanell Reece Tacha, Terrence L. O'Brien, and Timothy M. Tymkovich) vacated the District Court's temporary restraining order, finding that Boltz had not shown any likelihood of success on the merits of his claim.

On June 1, 2006, John Albert Boltz was executed by lethal injection.

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 of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2006 - 2006
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
(W.D. Okla.) 06/12/2007
CJ-OK-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/30/2006
CJ-OK-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction and Brief in Support 05/30/2006
CJ-OK-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Temporary Restraining Order 06/01/2006 (2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 35534) (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0001-0001 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Order and Judgment 06/01/2006 (182 Fed.Appx. 824)
CJ-OK-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Friot, Stephen P. (W.D. Okla.)
CJ-OK-0001-0001 | CJ-OK-0001-9000
O'Brien, Terrence L. (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0001-0002
Tacha, Deanell Reece (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0001-0002
Tymkovich, Timothy M. (Tenth Circuit)
CJ-OK-0001-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hankins , James L. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0001-0003 | CJ-OK-0001-0004 | CJ-OK-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Draper, Preston Saul (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0001-9000
Mann, Richard Neal (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0001-9000
Other Lawyers McCalmont, Lisa S. (Oklahoma)
CJ-OK-0001-9000

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