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Hughes v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 16, 2014

DARRELL WAYNE HUGHES, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis and pro se complaint. The application will be granted, and the complaint will be dismissed.

Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana, see Compl. at 1, alleges that "all criminal act(s) subject to penalties of death are unconstitutional, " id. at 5, and demands a court order to abolish all federal and state death penalties, id. at 9.

"Article III of the United States Constitution limits the judicial power to deciding Cases and Controversies.'" In re Navy Chaplaincy, 534 F.3d 756, 759 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting U.S. Const. art. III, ยง 2), cert. denied, 556 U.S. 1167 (2009). A party has standing for purposes of Article III if his claims "spring from an injury in fact' - an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized, ' actual or imminent' and fairly traceable' to the challenged act of the defendant, and likely to be redressed by a favorable decision in the federal court." Navegar, Inc. v. United States, 103 F.3d 994, 998 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). Here, the plaintiff does not show that he has suffered or stands to suffer any injury if a federal or state death penalty were to be imposed or enforced. Because the plaintiff alleges only a hypothetical or conjectural injury, see Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560, he does not satisfy the "injury-in-fact" requirement of standing. His complaint therefore must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.


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