Case: In Re: Williams

2:03-cv-01277 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Dec. 31, 2003

Closed Date: 2004

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 31, 2003, Lewis Williams and John Roe, who were both death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Williams and Roe asked the Court to stay their executions and issue an injunction against the defendants' use of their current lethal injection protocol, which they alleged would violate…

On December 31, 2003, Lewis Williams and John Roe, who were both death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Williams and Roe asked the Court to stay their executions and issue an injunction against the defendants' use of their current lethal injection protocol, which they alleged would violate their Constitutional rights by torturing them to death. Specifically, they feared that the short-acting anesthetic used by the defendants would wear off too soon, allowing them to feel the excrutiatingly painful effects of the potassium chloride that was used during the lethal injection process. In addition, they argued that the defendants' use of pancuronium bromide would paralyze them, making them unable to cry out or alert their executioners that the anesthetic had worn off too soon.

The defendants argued that the complaint was in reality a successive habeas petition, which needed to be transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and that the District Court had no jurisdiction over the claim. On January 6, 2004, the District Court (Judge James L. Graham) construed the petition as a successive habeas petition and transferred the case to the Sixth Circuit.

On February 3, 2004, the Sixth Circuit granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case, ruling that this was a successive habeas petition, and that the plaintiffs had not met the requirements for filing a successive habeas petition. The plaintiffs sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, and on March 5, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

Lewis Williams was executed by lethal injection on January 14, 2004.

John Roe was executed by lethal injection on February 3, 2004.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (9/10/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Clay, Eric L. (Michigan)

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (District of Columbia)

Graham, James L. (Ohio)

Kemp, Terence Peter (Ohio)

Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (Kentucky)

Souter, David Hackett (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Suhrheinrich, Richard Fred (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bodiker, David (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Clay, Eric L. (Michigan)

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (District of Columbia)

Graham, James L. (Ohio)

Kemp, Terence Peter (Ohio)

Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (Kentucky)

Souter, David Hackett (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Suhrheinrich, Richard Fred (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bodiker, David (Ohio)

Dixon, Robert Aloysius (Ohio)

Doughten, David L (Ohio)

Ferrell, Stephen A. (Ohio)

Meyers, Gregory William (Ohio)

Tkacz, Ruth L. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hamilton O'Brien, Carol Anne (Ohio)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Williams v. Taft

March 5, 2004 Docket
1

Plaintiffs' Original Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief . . .

Williams v. Taft

Dec. 31, 2003 Complaint
9

Opinion and Order [Transferring the Action to the Sixth Circuit]

Williams v. Taft

Jan. 6, 2004 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Williams v. Taft

Supreme Court of the United States

540 U.S. 1146, 124 S.Ct. 1142, 157 L.Ed.2d 964

Jan. 13, 2004 Order/Opinion

Order

Williams v. Taft

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Feb. 3, 2004 Order/Opinion

Supreme Court Denial of a Writ of Certiorari

Williams v. Taft

Supreme Court of the United States

540 U.S. 1206

March 5, 2004 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis by Plaintiff Lewis Williams Jr. (wh, ) (Entered: 12/31/2003)

Dec. 31, 2003
2

MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis by Plaintiff John Glenn Roe. (wh, ) (Entered: 12/31/2003)

Dec. 31, 2003
3

COMPLAINT against all defendants , filed by Plaintiffs Lewis Williams Jr, John Glenn Roe, (Attachments: #(1) 4/19/02 letter from Haviland #(2) 5/30/02 letter from V. Lagana #(3) Affidavit of Mark JS Heath MD #(4 - A to #3) CV of Mark JS Heath #(5 - B to #3) 4/19/02 letter from Haviland #(6 - C to #3) 5/30/02 letter from V. Lagana #(7) Affidavit of Carol Weihrer #(8) 2000 Rpt of AVMA Panel on Euthanasia #(9) State Euthanasia Statutes 12/31/04 #(10) 12/17/03 Order of USCA 4th Circuit (Reid) #(11) 12/18/03 Order in Johnson v. Reid #(12) 10/9/03 US Supreme Court re D.L. Nelson #(13) 12/1/03 US Supreme Court Order re D.L. Nelson)(wh, ) (Entered: 12/31/2003)

Dec. 31, 2003
4

ORDER granting 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, -order directed to cashier to follow --denying 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis --pltf Roe to pay $75 w/in thirty (30) days. Signed by Judge Terence P Kemp on 12/31/2003. (wh, ) (Entered: 12/31/2003)

Dec. 31, 2003
5

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff John Glenn Roe and by Plaintiff Lewis Williams Jr. (Ferrell, Stephen) (Entered: 01/02/2004)

Jan. 2, 2004
6

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Lewis Williams Jr. by Plaintiff John Glenn Roe. (Ferrell, Stephen) (Entered: 01/02/2004)

Jan. 2, 2004
7

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Lewis Williams Jr. (Ferrell, Stephen) (Entered: 01/05/2004)

Jan. 5, 2004
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Carol Anne Hamilton O'Brien Defendants Robert Taft, Reginald A Wilkinson, James Haviland (O'Brien, Carol) (Entered: 01/05/2004)

Jan. 5, 2004
9

ORDER transferring the 3 Complaint filed by John Glenn Roe and Lewis Williams to the USCA for the 6th Circuit for authorization under 28:2244(b)(2). Signed by Judge James L Graham on 1/6/2004. (bw) (Entered: 01/07/2004)

Jan. 6, 2004

NOTICE re 9 Order of sending Successive Petition Transmission Form to USCA. (bab, ) (Entered: 01/07/2004)

Jan. 7, 2004

NOTICE of USCA case number for Successive Petition 04-3014 (bab, ) (Entered: 01/12/2004)

Jan. 12, 2004
10

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 9 Order by Plaintiffs John Glenn Roe, Lewis Williams Jr. (bab, ) (Entered: 01/12/2004)

Jan. 12, 2004

Transmission of Notice of Appeal and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals re 10 Notice of Appeal (bab, ) (Entered: 01/13/2004)

Jan. 13, 2004
11

Appeal Remark re 10 Notice of Appeal: the Supreme Court of the United States sent the following order; in it, it states that the application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Stevens and by him referred to the Court is denied. (bab, ) (Entered: 01/29/2004)

Jan. 27, 2004
12

ORDER of USCA as to 10 Notice of Appeal filed by John Glenn Roe, Lewis Williams: the USCA properly concludes that Roe failed to meet the requirements for filing a second or successive petition and having no sound reason to revisit those rulings, the USCA hereby denies Appellant Roe's Renewed Motion to Set Aside Judgment and further denies Roe's Renewed Motion for Stay of Execution. Appellant Roe's Motion to Expedite Appeal is granted and Appellee's Motion and Renewed Motion to Dismiss Appeal are granted. (bab, ) (Entered: 02/05/2004)

Feb. 3, 2004
13

Appeal Remark re 10 Notice of Appeal: Order from the Supreme Court of the United States denying the application for stay of execution of sentence of death. (bab, ) (Entered: 02/19/2004)

Feb. 9, 2004
18

USCA INFORMATION COPY re 10 Notice of Appeal: the USCA hereby denies the Appellant's Renewed Motion to Set Aside Judgment and Appellant's Renewed Motion for a Stay of Execution. Appellant's Motion to Expedite Appeal is granted. (bab, ) (Entered: 03/12/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004
14

NOTICE FROM U.S. SUPREME COURT re 10 Notice of Appeal: the petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. (bab, ) (Entered: 03/08/2004)

March 5, 2004
15

NOTICE FROM U.S. SUPREME COURT re 10 Notice of Appeal: the petition for a writ of certiorari is denied in case 03-8356. (bab, ) (Entered: 03/08/2004)

March 5, 2004
17

NOTICE FROM U.S. SUPREME COURT re 10 Notice of Appeal: Assignment of Case # 03-8664 placed on the docket February 2, 2004. (bab, ) (Entered: 03/08/2004)

March 5, 2004

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 31, 2003

Closing Date: 2004

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

two death-sentenced inmates of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (Mansfield), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Death Penalty:

Lethal Injection - General