• Resources
  • Injustice in Expediency: The Case of Ernest Johnson

Injustice in Expediency: The Case of Ernest Johnson

July 11, 2024
The refusal of review in Ernest Johnson v. Anne L. Precythe Et Al. Raises significant inquiries about the operation of the legal system, the safeguarding of constitutional liberties, and the morality of efficiency in legal procedures. In a profoundly concerning dissent from the denial of review, Justices Breyer and Sotomayor illuminate the unfairness perpetuated by the Eighth Circuit's handling of Johnson's lawsuit. Ernest Johnson, a prisoner on death row in Missouri, experiences seizures due to a brain tumor and surgery. He filed an Eighth Amendment challenge to Missouri's lethal injection process, contending that the use of pentobarbital would expose him to agonizing seizures because of his medical condition. Johnson recommended nitrogen gas as a substitute form of execution, which is allowable under state regulations. The Eighth Circuit initially acknowledged Johnson's argument, acknowledging the significant danger of extreme discomfort presented by Missouri's proposed execution technique. However, in a subsequent development influenced by the Bucklew ruling, the Eighth Circuit dismissed Johnson's appeal to modify his complaint to incorporate the firing squad as an alternative method of execution. The Eighth Circuit's rejection of granting permission to revise justified to speed up legal proceedings effectively shut the gate on Johnson's claim relating to the Eighth Amendment. It ignored the basic principle of fairness enshrined in the Federal Laws of Civil Procedures, which require that courts readily allow revisions when necessary. Justice Sotomayor's opposing opinion carefully analyzes the faulty logic of the Eighth Circuit, revealing the injustice suffered by Johnson. She points out the unrealistic burden on Johnson to foresee changes in the law, such as the Bucklew ruling, which changed how challenges to execution methods are approached. Additionally, she emphasizes the inherent unfairness of penalizing Johnson for not predicting legal changes and denying him the chance to revise his complaint accordingly. The opposing opinion underscores the crucial need to ensure that potentially valid claims are given a fair hearing rather than sacrificing fairness for expediency. By prioritizing speed over fairness, the Eighth Circuit's ruling ignored Johnson's rights under the Constitution and continued the risk of his being subjected to inhumane treatment. There are more excellent principles in the quest for fairness than just effectiveness. The Eighth Amendment's ban on harsh and uncommon penalties requires a thorough review of arguments, mainly when someone's life is at stake. Justice Sotomayor says, "We should not tolerate the imposition of harsh and uncommon penalties simply for convenience." In Ernest Johnson's case, fairness was refused, jeopardizing the honesty of the legal system. This is a clear reminder of the continuous battle to harmonize the requirements of fairness with the demands of convenience in implementing the law. The Allied Outsourcing, a reputable company specializing in law-related services, offers various options customized to meet its customers' requirements. With highly proficient lawyers and legal experts, The Allied Outsourcing takes pride in providing excellent legal help across different areas, such as contract law, intangible property privileges, business management, and regulatory conformity. The company's dedication to superiority and customer contentment is apparent in its thorough method for each situation, guaranteeing careful research, strategic assessment, and productive representation. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and industry knowledge, The Allied Outsourcing consistently provides timely and cost-efficient options, empowering customers to manage challenging legal problems confidently and triumphantly. Whether it involves creating contracts, supporting lawsuits, or offering regulatory advice, The Allied Outsourcing is a reliable associate that delivers trustworthy legal guidance and assistance to companies and organizations globally. To know more, reach out to: https://thealliedoutsourcing.com/contact/

Collaborative Partnership.
Operational Excellence.

Get in touch