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October 24, 2006

Sixth Circuit lift Ohio lethal injection stay

Despite a cranky blogging service, the Ohio Death Penalty Information blog has all the details of the Sixth Circuit split decision late last night to overturn the stay of execution for Jeffrey Lundgren and to allow Ohio to go forward with his execution this morning.  This AP report gives more details now that Lungren's SCOTUS appeal has also been turned back:

A cult leader sentenced to death in the slaying of a family of five lost a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to stop his execution scheduled for Tuesday. Jeffrey Lundgren was out of appeal options after the Supreme Court's refusal came in the hours before he was set to die by injection, Attorney James A. Jenkins said....

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati cleared the way for execution late Monday when judges voted 2-1 to reverse a lower court order that would have delayed the sentence to allow Lundgren to join a lawsuit challenging Ohio's use of lethal injection.  The judges gave no explanation for the ruling. "It blows my mind that they lifted the stay at the 11th hour as they have," Jenkins said. "I'm flabbergasted."...

Over the years 40 judges have reviewed Lundgren's appeals. The most recent claimed lethal injection would be cruel and unusual punishment, particularly since Lundgren is overweight at 275 pounds and diabetic.  Lundgren's case had been transferred Monday to the same three-judge panel that is considering the lethal injection lawsuit.

October 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Oct 24, 2006 2:15:19 PM


Perhaps, instead of trying to game the system, Lundgren's lawyers should have tried to join Cooey's lawsuit years ago (Cooey's suit was filed in 2002 I believe). I suspect the reason that they did not is that they don't want their client to be bound by the determination. If Cooey's suit fails, all those who joined it should be bound by res judicata.

As for the Sixth Circuit lifting the stay, it hardly lies in the mouth of the capital defense lawyer to whine about the last-minute nature of the 6th Circuit's ruling, when the last-minute nature of the litigation was brought about by the machinations of defense counsel.

Defense attorneys love to whine about the constitutional rights of convicted murderers. That's fine. But it must also be remembered that the state's right to carry out its punishments without being jerked around by last-minute litigation is also of constitutional moment.

Kudos to the Sixth Circuit judges who lifted this stay.

Posted by: Sean O'Brien | Oct 24, 2006 12:44:43 PM

The stay was lifted in Ohio literally within minutes of the case being transferred from a panel of Judges Merritt, Daughtrey and Clay to the hard right panel of Judges Suhrheinrich, Siler and Gilman. Gotta love the Sixth.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 24, 2006 8:32:07 PM


Posted by: Scott Christner | Oct 26, 2006 7:56:56 PM

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