University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hill v. McDonough CJ-FL-0002
Docket / Court 4:06-cv-00032-SPM ( N.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On January 20, 2006, a prisoner of the State of Florida filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Florida. The plaintiff, who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, asked the court to ... read more >
On January 20, 2006, a prisoner of the State of Florida filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Florida. The plaintiff, who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, asked the court to enjoin the defendants from carrying out the execution, arguing that the lethal injection procedure inflicts unnecessary pain and torture in violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

On January 21, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Judge Stephan P. Mickle) dismissed the plaintiff's complaint for lack of jurisdiction, holding that since the plaintiff's motion raised no issues of newly-discovered evidence, it was the functional equivalent of a successive petition for writ of habeas corpus. The plaintiff appealed. On January 24, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the plaintiff's application for a stay of execution and expedited appeal. The plaintiff asked for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On June 12, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a slip opinion in which it reversed and remanded the case back to the Eleventh Circuit, holding that the plaintiff's claim could be brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and did not have to be brought as a habeas claim since he was only challenging the method of injection instead of challenging lethal injection as a general matter. On August 29, the Eleventh Circuit remanded the case back to the District Court. Hill v. McDonough, 462 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir. 2006). The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case, and on September 1, 2006, the District Court (Judge Mickle) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that the plaintiff was bringing the case only to unnecessarily delay the execution.

The plaintiff filed a motion for consideration, which the District Court (Judge Mickle) denied on September 11, 2006, holding that the plaintiff was merely trying to delay final judgment. The plaintiff asked the Eleventh Circuit to issue a stay of execution order, and on September 15, 2006, the court declined to issue the order in a per curiam opinion. The plaintiff asked for review by the Supreme Court, and on September 20, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in the case. Hill v. McDonough, No. 06-0301, 165 L.Ed. 1013 (2006).

After serving more than 23 years on Florida's Death Row, Clarence Edward Hill was executed on September 20, 2006 by lethal injection.

Kristen Sagar - 08/28/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Death Penalty
Lethal Injection - General
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Florida Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description a death-sentenced prisoner of the State of Florida
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2006
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing CJ-DE-0001 : Jackson v. Taylor (D. Del.)
CJ-TN-0003 : Alley v. Little (M.D. Tenn.)
Additional Resources
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  The Oyez Project, Hill v McDonough, 547 U.S. 573 (2006).
Date: Jun. 12, 2006
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

(N.D. Fla.)
CJ-FL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/02/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Dismissing Motion for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (2006 WL 167585) (N.D. Fla.)
CJ-FL-0002-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/21/2006
Supreme Court Certiorari Petition
CJ-FL-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/24/2006
Brief in Opposition to Cert
CJ-FL-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/24/2006
Veterinary Amicus Brief Supporting Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2006
Brief for Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Human Rights Advocates Amicus Brief Supporting Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Physicians Amicus Brief Supporting Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Habeas Corpus Resource Center Amicus Brief Supporting Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Brief for Amicus Curiae Darick Demorris Walker (Virginia Inmate) Supporting Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Brief for Amicus Curiae New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty in Support of Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
Amicus Brief of Bradley MacLean and William Redick in Support of Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/06/2006
United States' Amicus Brief in Support of Florida
CJ-FL-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2006
State of Alabama (and other States) Amicus Brief in Support of Florida
CJ-FL-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2006
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (CJLF) Amicus Brief in Support of Florida
CJ-FL-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2006
Reply Brief for Petitioner
CJ-FL-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2006
Supreme Court Opinion (547 U.S. 573)
CJ-FL-0002-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/12/2006
Opinion (462 F.3d 1313)
CJ-FL-0002-0023.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/29/2006
Source: Google Scholar
Order Dismissing Complaint [ECF# 39] (2006 WL 2556938) (N.D. Fla.)
CJ-FL-0002-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/01/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 47] (2006 WL 2598002) (N.D. Fla.)
CJ-FL-0002-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/11/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Application for a Stay of Execution
CJ-FL-0002-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2006
Denial of Application for Stay of Execution (464 F.3d 1256)
CJ-FL-0002-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/15/2006
Application to Supreme Court for Stay of Execution
CJ-FL-0002-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/18/2006
Cert Petition to Supreme Court
CJ-FL-0002-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/18/2006
[Stay denied] (548 U.S. 940)
CJ-FL-0002-0024.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/20/2006
Source: Westlaw
Judges Edmondson, James Larry (Eleventh Circuit)
Hull, Frank M. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (Ninth Circuit, SCOTUS)
Mickle, Stephan P. (N.D. Fla.)
CJ-FL-0002-0016 | CJ-FL-0002-0017 | CJ-FL-0002-0022 | CJ-FL-0002-9000
Pryor, William Holcombe Jr. (Eleventh Circuit)
CJ-FL-0002-0019 | CJ-FL-0002-0023
Thomas, Clarence (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (M.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
CJ-FL-0002-0019 | CJ-FL-0002-0023
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abatecola , John (Florida)
CJ-FL-0002-0003 | CJ-FL-0002-0014
Berger , Eric (District of Columbia)
CJ-FL-0002-0003 | CJ-FL-0002-0014
Doss, D Todd (Florida)
CJ-FL-0002-0001 | CJ-FL-0002-0003 | CJ-FL-0002-0014 | CJ-FL-0002-0018 | CJ-FL-0002-0020 | CJ-FL-0002-0021 | CJ-FL-0002-9000
Gershengorn, Ian Heath (District of Columbia)
CJ-FL-0002-0003 | CJ-FL-0002-0014
Verrilli, Donald B. Jr. (District of Columbia)
CJ-FL-0002-0003 | CJ-FL-0002-0014
Defendant's Lawyers Snurkowski , Carolyn (Florida)
CJ-FL-0002-0002 | CJ-FL-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Ard, Hannah S. (District of Columbia)
Biswas, Raakhee (District of Columbia)
Columbus , Eric R. (District of Columbia)
Crossley , Will L. (District of Columbia)
De La Vega, Constance (California)
Englund , Lara A. (District of Columbia)
Enzinna, Paul F. (District of Columbia)
Erickson , Robert J. (District of Columbia)
Gibbons, John T. (New Jersey)
Goldstein, Thomas C. (District of Columbia)
Howe, Amy (District of Columbia)
Karlan, Pamela S. (California)
Laurence , Michael David (California)
Lewis , Megan E. (New Jersey)
Loper, Timothy (District of Columbia)
Lustberg, Lawrence S. (New Jersey)
Nathan, Alison J. (District of Columbia)
Newsom, Kevin Christopher (Alabama)
Ogden, David W. (District of Columbia)
Press , Charles J. (California)
Pulliam , Jessica (Texas)
Russell, Kevin K. (District of Columbia)
Sacks, Ira (New York)
Sacks , Melanie J. (New York)
Scheidegger, Kent S. (California)
Weissbrodt, David (Minnesota)

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