BRIAN OWENS, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections. BRUCE CHATMAN, in his capacity as Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic Prison. SAM OLENS, in his capacity as Attorney General of the State of Georgia ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Civil Action Case No.

BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S EMERGENCY MOTION FOR EQUITABLE INJUNCTION Plaintiff, WARREN LEE HILL, is an indigent, death row inmate who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on July 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Defendants are the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections, who in his official capacity is charged with carrying out the execution and procuring lethal injection drugs, the Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic Prison, who in his official capacity is charged with carrying out the execution and implementing the injection of lethal drugs, and the Attorney General of the State of Georgia, whose office has assisted the Department of Corrections in finding and procuring lethal injection drugs. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and

Article I, Section I, Paragraph VII of the Georgia Constitution prohibit executions to be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and paragraph I of section one of Article one of the Georgia ensure that all individuals must be granted equal protection under the laws of this state and country and are entitled to due process under the law. The requested injunctive relief is required because, if proven, the facts as proffered by Plaintiff are sufficient to demonstrate that Defendant intends to execute Plaintiff in a manner that violates Mr. Hill’s due process rights and which does not comply with Eighth Amendment. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibit the government from depriving a person of his “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” U.S. Const., Amends. 5, 14. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that A[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, not excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.@ U.S. Constitution, Amend. 8. FACTS Plaintiff contends that the use of an unknown, anonymously produced substance to carry out his execution carries an intolerable risk of pain and suffering, and thus constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Further, Georgia’s 2

Lethal Injection Secrecy Law (O.C.G.A. §42-5-36(d)) prevents Mr. Hill from receiving any information necessary to prosecute his Eighth Amendment claim under Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35 (2008). The Supreme Court recently explained the showing that is necessary to establish an Eighth Amendment violation in the context of an unduly risky execution procedure: Our cases recognize that subjecting individuals to a risk of future harm-not simply actually inflicting pain-can qualify as cruel and unusual punishment. To establish that such exposure violates the Eighth Amendment, however, the conditions presenting the risk must be Asure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering,@ and give rise to Asufficiently imminent dangers.@ Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33, 34-35, 113 S.Ct. 2475, 125 L.Ed.2d 22 (1993) (emphasis added). We have explained that to prevail on such a claim there must be a Asubstantial risk of serious harm,@ an Aobjectively intolerable risk of harm@ that prevents prison officials from pleading that they were Asubjectively blameless for purposes of the Eighth Amendment.@ Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 842, 846, and n. 9, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994). Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35, 49-50 (2008). Plaintiff can make this showing. The Defendant=s intended use of an unknown, anonymously compounded substance not conforming to FDA guidelines for drug safety, purporting to be Pentobarbital to execute Plaintiff creates a substantial risk of needless suffering as required by Baze. According to Georgia’s lethal injection protocols, a condemned inmate is executed via injection of the drug Pentobarbital. 3 If the correct dosage of

Pentobarbital is properly administered and the drug is of adequate quality, this should, in theory, result in a humane death. If there is a problem with the purity, potency, composition or administration of Pentobarbital, there is a grave risk of excruciating and unnecessary pain and suffering, or of irreparable harm and injury without causing death. I. Georgia’s Recent, Checkered History Regarding Lethal Injection Drugs Engenders No Trust That The Department of Corrections Will Obtain Safe, Potent, Uncontaminated Drugs From A Reputable Source. Mr. Hill has reasonable cause for concern regard his upcoming execution. Since 2010, there has been an increasingly short supply of lethal injection drugs available to Departments of Corrections in the United States. This is due to the creation of end-user agreements by major drug manufacturers in Europe, who do not want to participate, through the use of their drugs, in capital punishment in the U.S. (See App. H to Pl. Compl.) To address this shortage in 2010 and 2011, the state of Georgia obtained illegally imported, expired, sub-potent drugs from a “pharmacy” run out of the back door of a run-down driving school in London, England. (Apps. H, I, J, K, L, and M to Pl. Compl). The state of Georgia used these drugs in two executions before the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) raided Georgia’s lethal injection drug supply and confiscated Georgia’s illegally


imported cache of drugs. (App. I to Pl. Compl.) Both executions that used this supply of illegally imported, compromised drugs resulted in significant pain and suffering for the individuals executed. In Brandon Rhodes’ case, his eyes

remained open for the entirety of his execution, indicating consciousness during the process. (App. N to Pl. Compl.). In the case of Emmanuel Hammond, Mr. Hammond’s eyes also remained open, and he grimaced and appeared to be trying to communicate throughout his execution. (App. P to Pl. Compl.) Based on its unseemly efforts in the past to get lethal injection drugs at any cost—even through illegal means—and its willingness to use patently expired drugs of unknown safety and origin on human beings, it is evident that the Georgia Department of Corrections has developed a culture of shoddiness and unprofessional conduct surrounding executions in this state and cannot prudently be trusted to obtain and use lethal injection drugs without any oversight. Moreover, the history of the Department of Corrections’ changing its entire drug protocol on the eve of Mr. Hill’s first scheduled execution, combined with the state secrecy statute, gives Mr. Hill no ability to predict what the Department of Corrections may do and what drugs they may use to execute him, should their stated plans to use compounded pentobarbital fall through. Hill v. Owens, 292 Ga. 380, 381 (2013). 5


Mr. Hill Has No Information Concerning the Source and Quality of the Drug With Which the Department of Corrections Will Seek to Execute Him on July 15. On July 10, 2013, the Georgia Department of Corrections responded to an

Open Records Act request made on behalf of Mr. Hill with a series of redacted documents revealing that the Department of Corrections had entered into agreements with an unknown compounding pharmacy and an unknown prescriber of drugs in order to procure pentobarbital for the execution of Mr. Hill. Pursuant to the Lethal Injection Secrecy Law (codified at O.C.G.A. § 42-5-36(d)), all information pertaining to the identities or the location of the parties and/or entities involved in this transaction were redacted and remain unknown to Mr. Hill. (App. D to Pl. Compl.). Without any information regarding the origin or makers of the drug that the Department of Corrections is planning to use to execute him, Mr. Hill is left with no reliable means for determining whether the drugs for his lethal injection are safe and will reliably perform their function, or if they are tainted, counterfeited, expired, or compromised in some other way. (App. V to Pl. Compl. at 48). The Department of Corrections’ switch from the use of FDA-approved pentobarbital to compounded pentobarbital constitutes a significant change in the DOC’s lethal


injection protocol, and it is one that adds an unacceptable risk of pain, suffering and harm to Mr. Hill to the process of lethal injection. Compounding pharmacies are not subject to stringent FDA regulations and the sources from which they obtain the active pharmaceutical ingredients (“APIs”) for their drug concoctions are often part of the global “grey market,” which is one of the leading sources for counterfeit drugs entering the United States. Even if the API obtained and used by the compounding pharmacy is not counterfeit, there is a significant chance that it could be contaminated with bacteria, fungus, or particulate matter such as dirt and dust, all of which create grave likelihood that the lethal injection process could be extremely painful for Mr. Hill, that he could suffer a severe allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock, that he would suffer and have a lingering death, or that the drugs would be sub-potent and harm or handicap him without actually killing him. The production of sterile injectable drugs, such as the pentobarbital that the Department of Corrections currently plans to use in the execution of Warren Hill, is one of the most complex, risk-fraught operations of the modern pharmaceutical industry. Yet, the great majority of compounding pharmacies who supply “sterile” injectables have no way to test or assure the purity of the APIs they obtain for use in compounding and it is often difficult for a compounding pharmacist to know 7

where the drug was manufactured, or under what conditions. (App. V to Pl. Compl. at 49). Most compounding pharmacies further lack the capability to purify the API or to sterilize the end compounded product to ensure that it is free from fungus, bacteria, or other endotoxins and particulate matter. Even with the best compounding techniques, it is not possible to produce a sterile injectable suitable for use in humans from contaminated materials. Indeed, a recent, voluntary survey of several compounding pharmacies by the FDA,1 found that ten of the twenty-nine products sampled from these organizations were contaminated, sub-potent, or unsuitable for pharmaceutical use in some way. (App. U to Pl. Compl. at 7; App. V at 49-50). Without information from the Georgia Department of Corrections regarding the identities, suppliers, compounders, and prescribers of the lethal injection drugs that will be prepared for Mr. Hill’s scheduled execution on July 15, 2013, Mr. Hill cannot know with any reliability whether the pentobarbital with which the DOC intends to execute him is appropriate for this purpose, or whether it is likely to cause him suffering and harm.

Compounding pharmacies are largely outside the purview of the FDA and are regulated by the states. (App. U to Pl. Compl., generally)



ARGUMENT Injunctive relief is necessary in this case to maintain the status quo. Without the requested relief, Mr. Hill will suffer irreparable harm in that he will be executed in an unconstitutional manner. There will be no harm of any significance to other parties if a stay of execution is granted: Mr. Hill will remain in the custody of Defendant at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center, where he has been continuously since his conviction. Accordingly, a continuation of the status quo will cause absolutely no harm to other parties. Moreover, no public interest is served by executing an individual in violation of the Georgia and United States Constitutions. In contrast, a strong interest is served by examining the questionable substances obtained and possessed by the Department of Corrections. While, “it is settled law that mere apprehension of danger of injury will not require equitable relief, [t]his does not mean. . .that equitable relief will be denied where solid reasons are alleged and shown to justify the apprehension.” Maddox v. Threatt, 225 Ga. 730, 731 (Ga. 1969)(citations omitted). In Mr. Hill’s case, he has demonstrated that he has solid reasons to be apprehensive about the harm that may befall him through the use of the state’s anonymously compounded, secretly sourced lethal injection drugs.


Moreover, due process demands that the State be enjoined from carrying out Mr. Hill’s execution while it refuses to disclose information critical to a determination of the constitutionality of its intended actions. Enjoining Mr. Hill’s execution fully comports with precedent from the United States Supreme Court recognizing that due process does not permit the government to benefit from its suppression of information that might undermine the legality of its intended actions. In criminal cases, for instance, “[i]f the Government refuses to provide state secret information that the accused reasonably asserts is necessary to his defense, the prosecution must be dismissed.” General Dynamics Corp. v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 1900, 1905-06 (2011). See, e.g., Jencks v. United States, 353 U.S. 657, 672 (1957) (holding that a “criminal action must be dismissed when the Government, on the ground of privilege, elects not to comply with an order to produce, for the accused’s inspection and for admission in evidence, relevant statements or reports in its possession of government witnesses touching the subject matter of their testimony at trial”); cf. Roviearo v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 60-61 (1957) (holding that “[w]here disclosure of an informer’s identity, or of the contents of his communication, is relevant and helpful to the defense of an accused, or is essential to a fair determination of a cause, the privilege must give 10


In these situations, the trial court may require disclosure and, if the

Government withholds the information, dismiss the action”). Although Mr. Hill’s criminal litigation has ended, the rationale underlying these decisions fully applies here. As the High Court has explained: “The rationale of the criminal cases that, since the Government which prosecutes an accused also has the duty to see that justice is done, it is unconscionable to allow it to undertake prosecution and then invoke its governmental privileges to deprive the accuse of anything which might be material to his defense.” United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 11 (1953).2 Here, the State of Georgia has “the

duty to see that justice is done,” which must perforce include the duty to avoid a cruel and unusual execution and to provide the process due even a condemned man.

While this rule was not applied in Reynolds, a civil tort action against the government, as a basis to compel the production of documents the government claimed were privileged military secrets, this has no particular bearing here. In Reynolds, the Court explained that the criminal rule “has no application in a civil forum where the Government is not the moving party, but is a defendant only terms to which it has consented.” While the state is not the “moving party” to this lawsuit, it is clearly the moving party for the execution Mr. Hill seeks t o enjoin. Moreover, as the Supreme Court has since explained, Reynolds “decided a purely evidentiary dispute by applying evidentiary rules: The privileged information is excluded and the trial goes on without it.” General Dynamics Corp., 131 S. Ct. at 1906. Here, by contrast, the State’s nondisclosure “obscure[s] too many of the facts relevant to [a lethal injection challenge, rendering that challenge] nonjusticiable . . . .” Id. In General Dynamics, the Court ruled that, because the state secrets privilege would not permit the development of a valid affirmative defense, neither the government, nor the contractor could proceed and that the parties would remain in the position in which they were the day suit was filed. Id. at 1906-07.



For these reasons, Mr. Hill respectfully requests that the injunction preventing Plaintiff’s execution issue and remain in place until: 1) Such time as Defendants can demonstrate that all controlled substances used for Plaintiff’s execution are not counterfeit, compromised, tainted by fungus, bacteria, endotoxins, or other particulate matter, sub-potent, super-potent, expired, or illegally obtained; and 2) Until such time as Defendants can demonstrate that measures are in place to allow for Plaintiff’s execution in a manner that complies with the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section I, Paragraph VII of the Georgia Constitution punishment; and 3) The substances in the possession of the Defendant can be examined by a qualified, independent laboratory to determine whether they are in fact what they purport to be, and whether those substances will act upon Plaintiff in the manner contemplated by both the Department of Corrections protocols and by the Supreme Court in Baze. In the event the substances are revealed to be contaminated, expired or otherwise compromised, Plaintiff respectfully asks that the stay remain in place until such time as Defendant can demonstrate that he has obtained dosages


of compounded pentobarbital that are of adequate quality and reliability3 and thus do not present substantial risk of serious harm to Mr. Hill. Dated this 12th day of July, 2013. Respectfully submitted,

_________________________ Brian Kammer (Ga. 406322) Robyn A. Painter (Ga. 110108) Georgia Resource Center 303 Elizabeth Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30307 404-222-9202 COUNSEL FOR MR. HILL

The Court in Baze held that a petitioner may make out a prima facie Eighth Amendment violation based upon a State=s refusal to employ a less risky execution procedure if the petitioner can demonstrate that the alternative procedure is Afeasible, readily implemented, and in fact significantly reduce[s] a substantial risk of severe pain.@ Baze, 553 U.S. at 52, 128 S.Ct. at 1532. If the substances in Defendant=s possession are demonstrably compromised, then the refusal to obtain and employ a reliable dosage of Pentobarbital as prescribed by the execution protocols would be unconstitutional under these standards.



IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA WARREN LEE HILL, v. BRIAN OWENS, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections. BRUCE CHATMAN, in his capacity as Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic Prison. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Civil Action Case No.

SAM OLENS, in his capacity as Attorney General of the State of Georgia

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE This is to certify that I have caused to be served a copy of the foregoing document this day by electronic mail in pdf format on counsel for Defendants at the email addresses below, and have served another copy by FedEx on counsel for Defendants at the addresses below: Sam Olens Attorney General of Georgia Joseph Drolet Office of the Attorney General 40 Capitol Square, SW Atlanta, GA 30334 Robert E. Jones General Counsel Bryan Wilson

Assistant Counsel Georgia Department of Corrections Legal Office State Office South 300 Patrol Road Forsyth, GA 31029 This the 12th day of July, 2013.

_______________________ Attorney


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