McDaniel v. Precythe, No. 17-1055 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of the Director's motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims in an action alleging that the Director's procedures for inviting citizens to witness executions violated plaintiff's rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff, an investigative journalist who formerly reported for St. Louis Public Radio and now works as a death penalty reporter for BuzzFeed News, wrote several articles criticizing Missouri's execution practices and the Director never responded to his requests to witness any executions.
The court held that plaintiff had Article III standing where he has suffered an injury in fact because the Director has excluded him and all applicants sharing his particular viewpoint from viewing the executions. Furthermore, plaintiff's claim was not moot as there was a continuing controversy as to the standing policies and customs of the Department of Corrections. The court also held that Ex part Young permitted plaintiff's suit challenging the constitutionality of the Director's implementation, and thus the action may proceed in federal court.