Case: O'Bryan v. McKaskle

4:84-cv-01473 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: March 28, 1984

Closed Date: March 31, 1984

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1984, Ronald Clark O'Bryan, a death-sentenced prisoner of the State of Texas, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. O'Bryan, who had been convicted of murdering his own son in order to collect life insurance proceeds and sentenced to death by lethal injection, alleged that the defendants' use of lethal injection was illegal because the drugs used during the injection process had not b…

In 1984, Ronald Clark O'Bryan, a death-sentenced prisoner of the State of Texas, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. O'Bryan, who had been convicted of murdering his own son in order to collect life insurance proceeds and sentenced to death by lethal injection, alleged that the defendants' use of lethal injection was illegal because the drugs used during the injection process had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and were therefore being used in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Specifically, he alleged that the defendants were trying to force him (through lethal injection) to become an unwilling consumer of drugs that had not been "shown to be safe and effective for their intended use," and he asked the District Court to enjoin the defendants from using these drugs during the lethal injection process.

On March 29, 1984, the District Court (Judge Robert O'Conor, Jr.) declined to grant any relief to O'Bryan, finding that his claim was insubstantial and unlikely to succeed on appeal and that he had presented no arguments that had not been already ruled on in previous appeals. O'Bryan appealed, and on the same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judges Henry Anthony Politz and Patrick Errol Higginbotham) affirmed the District Court's decision, finding that the claims made in the complaint had already been ruled on in previous appeals and that the District Court had properly dismissed the complaint. O'Bryan v. McKaskle, 729 F.2d 991 (5th Cir. 1984).

Ronald Clark O'Bryan was executed on March 31, 1984 by lethal injection.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (9/17/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Higginbotham, Patrick Errol (Texas)

Politz, Henry Anthony (Louisiana)

Randall, Archibald (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Garcia, Carolyn (Texas)

Gray, Will (Texas)

Presser, Stefan (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Benitez, Leslie (Texas)

Judge(s)

Higginbotham, Patrick Errol (Texas)

Politz, Henry Anthony (Louisiana)

Randall, Archibald (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Garcia, Carolyn (Texas)

Gray, Will (Texas)

Presser, Stefan (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Benitez, Leslie (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Opinion

O'Bryan v. McCaskle

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

729 F.2d 991

March 29, 1984 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 28, 1984

Closing Date: March 31, 1984

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

a death-sentenced prisoner of the State of Texas

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Texas Department of Corrections, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Death Penalty:

Lethal Injection - General