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Sixth Circuit rejects Ohio lethal injection challenge

[JURIST] A three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] threw out a lawsuit challenging Ohio's death penalty procedure [JURIST news archive] Friday on the grounds that the claim was filed too late. In the 2-1 opinion [Cooey v. Strickland text, PDF], judges Richard Fred Suhrheinrich and Edward Eugene Siler [official profiles] decided that the statute of limitations on the inmate's 42 USC 1983 [text] method of execution challenge would have run at the latest two years following the 2001 decision that made lethal injection Ohio's only form of execution. Plaintiff Cooey did not file his challenge until December of 2004.

Last year Ohio executed its first prisoner using modified lethal injection procedures [JURIST report] aimed at preventing extreme pain during an execution. The procedures were changed last June [JURIST report] following a difficult May execution where staff struggled to find a vein to administer the lethal injection cocktail, and the one they did use collapsed before injection. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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