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Grayson v. Warden
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
869 F.3d 1204 (2017)
Four prisoners (the inmates) (plaintiffs) who were sentenced to death brought suit against the Alabama Department of Corrections (department) (defendant). The inmates asserted that the department’s lethal-injection protocol violated the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment. At the district court, the inmates were required to show that an alternative method of execution was available to the department. The inmates contended that an alternative drug, pentobarbital, was available to the department. But in one of its previous cases, the district court had determined that pentobarbital was not available to the department. The department thus filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the inmates failed to prove their constitutional claim. In deciding the motion, the district court took judicial notice of its factual finding in its previous case. This meant that the district court accepted as true that pentobarbital was not available to the department. Consequently, the district court granted summary judgment for the department. The inmates appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tjoflat, J.)
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