Stephen Michael West et al. v. Derrick D. Schofield et al.

Stephen Michael West et al. v. Derrick D. Schofield et al.
M2014-02478-SC-R10-CV

We granted this extraordinary appeal to determine whether, in this declaratory judgment action, the death-sentenced inmates' claims challenging the constitutionality of a 2014 statute that designated electrocution as an alternative method of execution and the constitutionality of electrocution as a means of execution should be dismissed as unripe. Because the death-sentenced inmates are not currently subject to execution by electrocution and will not ever become subject to execution by electrocution unless one of two statutory contingencies occurs in the future, their claims challenging the constitutionality of the 2014 statute and electrocution as a means of execution are not ripe. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's decision denying the defendants' motion to dismiss, dismiss the death-sentenced inmates' electrocution claims as unripe, and remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Cornelia A. Clark
Originating Judge: 
Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman
Date Filed: 
Thursday, July 2, 2015