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October 24, 2007

Eleventh Circuit grants stay to Alabama defendant facing execution

As detailed in this AP article, the Eleventh Circuit this afternoon "granted a stay of execution for Daniel Lee Siebert, a terminally ill killer who claimed that his cancer medication would counteract with a lethal injection, inflicting unnecessary pain."  As the article notes, in "granting the stay, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reversed an order by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller in Montgomery."

I had predicted here that the Eleventh Circuit would affirm Judge Fuller, so this shows I am not always very good at predicting what courts are going to do.  But this ruling does add more steam to my (hasty?) declarations that the Baze case before the Supreme Court has create a de facto moratorium on lethal injections executions.

I suppose it is possible the full Eleventh Circuit acting en banc or the Supreme Court could undo Siebert's stay, but that seems unlikely.  And if Siebert's stay stays, the moratorium spotlight will shift next door to Mississippi,  As detailed in this AP piece, lawyers for "condemned Mississippi inmate Earl Wesley Berry headed to a federal appeals court seeking to stop his execution after a district judge rejected Berry's plea for a delay."

UPDATE:  I now see that the Eleventh Circuit's per curiam stay ruling in Siebert is available here.  Seeing the composition of the panel leads me to think the stories surrounding this case might not be over.

October 24, 2007 at 05:29 PM | Permalink


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Doug, are you suggesting this might be vacated en banc? Or by the Supreme Court? Can you flesh out your last comment?

Posted by: anonymouse | Oct 24, 2007 6:00:08 PM

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