University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name LaGrand v. Lewis CJ-AZ-0001
Docket / Court 4:92-cv-00026-JMR ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
After his murder conviction was affirmed, and his first petition for habeas corpus was denied, Karl LaGrand, an Arizona death row inmate, filed a second habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. In the second petition, which was filed in 1998, the plaintiff ... read more >
After his murder conviction was affirmed, and his first petition for habeas corpus was denied, Karl LaGrand, an Arizona death row inmate, filed a second habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. In the second petition, which was filed in 1998, the plaintiff argued that the use of lethal gas as a means of execution violated his constitutional rights because it was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The District Court denied relief, finding that it lacked jurisdiction over the issue because the plaintiff should have raised the lethal gas argument prior to his first habeas petition. The plaintiff appealed. On February 24, 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Thomas G. Nelson) reversed in part and remanded, holding that the plaintiff had established cause for failing to raise his challenge to the constitutionality of the lethal gas prior to his first habeas petition, that the petitioner established prejudice required to excuse the procedural default of the lethal gas challenge, that the petitioner's voluntary choice of lethal gas as a method of execution did not waive his claim that the use of lethal gas was unconstitutional, and that the Arizona method of using lethal gas to execute inmates violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. LaGrand v. Stewart, 173 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 1999).

The defendants appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to vacate the stay of execution of the death sentence. On February 24, 1999, the same day as the Ninth Circuit opinion, the Supreme Court granted the defendants' request and vacated the stay of execution order without issuing an explanatory opinion. Stewart v. LaGrand, 525 U.S. 1173 (1999). The plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, and on April 14, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the petition. Stewart v. LaGrand, 526 U.S. 1061 (1999).

Karl Hinze LaGrand was executed on February 24, 1999 by lethal injection.

Kristen Sagar - 08/23/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Arizona Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description an Arizona death row inmate
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
92-0217 (D. Ariz.)
CJ-AZ-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/1999
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
92-0026 (D. Ariz.)
CJ-AZ-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/05/1999
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order (733 P.2d 1066)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/30/1987
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (484 U.S. 872)
CJ-AZ-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/05/1987
Source: Westlaw
Order (883 F.Supp. 451) (D. Ariz.)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/16/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Order (883 F.Supp. 469) (D. Ariz.)
CJ-AZ-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/30/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (133 F.3d 1253)
CJ-AZ-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/16/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Ruling on Petition for Certiorari (525 U.S. 971)
CJ-AZ-0001-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/02/1998
Source: Westlaw
Ruling on Petition for Rehearing (525 U.S. 1050)
CJ-AZ-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/07/1998
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (173 F.3d 1144)
CJ-AZ-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/24/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Order (525 U.S. 1173)
CJ-AZ-0001-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/24/1999
Source: Westlaw
Amended Order (170 F.3d 1158)
CJ-AZ-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/26/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Order [Case dismissed] (526 U.S. 1061)
CJ-AZ-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/14/1999
Source: Westlaw
Judges Brennan, William Joseph Jr. Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0007
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0010
Gordon, Frank X. Jr. (State Supreme Court)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
Hug, Procter Ralph Jr. Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0005
Marshall, Thurgood Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0007
Nelson, Thomas G. Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0002 | CJ-AZ-0001-0003 | CJ-AZ-0001-0005
O'Connor, Sandra Day Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0010
Pregerson, Harry Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0005
Roll, John McCarthy Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004 | CJ-AZ-0001-9000 | CJ-AZ-0001-9001
Scalia, Antonin Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0010
Stevens, John Paul Court not on record
CJ-AZ-0001-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burke, Bruce A. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0002 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004 | CJ-AZ-0001-9001
Claiborne, Elizabeth F. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
Ryan, Carla G. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0002 | CJ-AZ-0001-0003 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004 | CJ-AZ-0001-0005 | CJ-AZ-0001-9000 | CJ-AZ-0001-9001
Weeks, Lawrence B. (California)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0002 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004 | CJ-AZ-0001-9000 | CJ-AZ-0001-9001
Weiss, Stephen M. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Corbin, Robert K. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
Fadell, Gary A (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
McMurdie, Paul J (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0002 | CJ-AZ-0001-0003 | CJ-AZ-0001-0005
Ramsey, Diane M. (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004 | CJ-AZ-0001-0006 | CJ-AZ-0001-9000
Schafer, William J III (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0006
Woods, Grant (Arizona)
CJ-AZ-0001-0001 | CJ-AZ-0001-0004

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