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October 7, 2011

Eighth Circuit panel unanimously affirms dismissal of challenges to Arkansas execution protocol

Earlier today, an Eighth Circuit panel handed down an opinion in Williams v. Hobbs, No. 10-1573 (8th Cir. Oct. 7, 2011) (available here), which rejects various claims by death row prisoners in Arkansas concerning the state's execution plans.  Here is how the opinion starts:

Several Arkansas prisoners on death row challenged the state's Method of Execution Act (the Act) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arguing that it violates the ex post facto clause and their due process right to access the courts.  The district court dismissed the prisoners' claims, finding that their arguments were merely speculative, that they had access to Arkansas's current execution protocol, and that they could submit a FOIA request to obtain information on future protocols.  In this consolidated appeal the prisoners argue that the district court erred in dismissing their ex post facto clause and due process claims. Appellant Williams also appeals individually contending that the district court erred in denying his habeas petition as second or successive and by refusing to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim.   Appellant Jones and the prisoners that intervened in his suit appeal the denial of their motion to vacate the judgment. We affirm.

October 7, 2011 at 03:11 PM | Permalink


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Moratorium six years and counting.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Oct 7, 2011 6:05:19 PM

And one of those cases involves an 11 yo girl who survived a vicious assault on her and her mother. That judges have seen fit to keep executions in limbo is beyond appalling. The Arkansas courts ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 7, 2011 6:43:45 PM

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