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Hughbanks v. Hudson

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Cincinnati

April 12, 2017

GARY HUGHBANKS, Petitioner,
v.
STUART HUDSON, Warden, Respondent.

          DECISION AND ORDER ON MOTION TO AMEND

          Michael R. Merz United States Magistrate Judge.

         This capital habeas corpus case is before the Court on the Petitioner's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Petition (ECF No. 203). The Warden opposes the Motion (ECF No. 204) and Hughbanks has filed a Reply in Support (ECF No. 209).

         The parties have unanimously consented to plenary magistrate judge jurisdiction in this case under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(ECF No. 13).

         Hughbanks seeks to add a Twenty-Second Ground for Relief as follows:

Gary Hughbanks Execution Under Ohio Law Will Violate The Eighth Amendment Because Any Method That The Ohio Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation Employs Has A Substantial, Objectively, Intolerable Risk Of Causing Unnecessary, Severe Pain, Suffering Degradation, Humiliation, And/Or Disgrace.

(ECF No. 203-1, PageID 15783.)

         Procedural History

         Hughbanks' original Petition was filed February 12, 2007, pleading fourteen grounds for relief, but not including any constitutional attack on lethal injection as a method of execution. On May 2, 2012, the Court allowed an amendment to add the following claims:

Fifteenth Ground for Relief: Ohio's lethal injection protocol will cause Petitioner to be executed in a manner that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. United States Constitution, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Sixteenth Ground for Relief: Ohio's lethal injection protocol will cause petitioner to be executed in a manner that violates equal protection. United States Constitution, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

(ECF No. 131, PageID 1798-99.) The Amended Petition including these claims was then filed May 22, 2012 (ECF No. 134).

         On February 12, 2016, Hughbanks again moved to amend (ECF No. 182) which the Court granted in part on June 14, 2016 (ECF No. 187) resulting in the filing of Petitioner's Second Amended Petition on June 24, 2016 (ECF No. 188). That document includes the notation that Hughbanks' Lethal Injection Habeas Claim (Ground Twenty-Two) was “dismissed without prejudice.” Id. at PageID 15245. Actually, the Court had denied leave to add Ground Twenty-Two without prejudice to its renewal within thirty days of issuance of the mandate by the Sixth Circuit in the Stanley Adams habeas corpus case (ECF No. 187, PageID 15236). The instant motion was timely filed on that schedule.

         Analysis

         The general standard for considering a motion to amend under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a) was enunciated by the United States Supreme ...


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