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Catherine Perry

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Catherine Perry
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
Title:   Chief Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   10/07/1994 - Present
Chief:   2009 - Present
Preceded by:   Clyde Cahill
Past post:   Magistrate judge, Eastern District of Missouri
Past term:   1990 - 1994
Personal History
Born:   1952
Hometown:   Hobart, OK
Undergraduate:   University of Oklahoma, 1977
Law School:   Washington University School of Law, 1980

Catherine D. Perry is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. She joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.


Born in Hobart, Oklahoma, Perry graduated from the University of Oklahoma with her bachelor's degree in 1977, and later from Washington University St. Louis School of Law with her J.D. in 1980.[1]

Professional career

Perry was a private practice attorney in Missouri from 1980 to 1990. At the same time, she served as a adjunct professor of law at the Washington University St. Louis School of Law from 1981 to 1984, and again from 1991 to 1994.[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Missouri

On the recommendation of Congressmen William Clay, Sr. and Dick Gephardt, Perry was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by President Bill Clinton on July 15, 1994, to a seat vacated by Clyde Cahill. Perry was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 6, 1994, on a voice vote and received commission on October 7, 1994.[2] On June 11, 2009, she was elevated to the role of chief judge, succeeding Carol Jackson in the position.[3]

Congressional oath of office

On January 24, 2013, Perry administered the oath of office to Representative William Lacy Clay at the beginning of his new term.[4]

Eastern District of Missouri

From 1990 to 1994, Perry served as a federal magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.[1]

Notable cases

Inmate's execution temporarily halted following questions over clemency letter (2014)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (U.S. v. Winfield)

On June 12, 2014, Judge Perry stayed the execution of John Winfield, citing the possible intimidation of a prison worker who was supposed to write a letter in support of clemency on Winfield's behalf, but ultimately decided not to do so.[5]

Winfield was supposed to be put to death on June 18, 2014, for the murder of two women in 1996. The prison's laundry director, Terry Cole, indicated he wanted to write a letter on Winfield's behalf, but after he was investigated for "over-familiarity" with the prisoner, he changed his mind. Judge Perry granted a stay in Winfield's favor, noting there was evidence that Cole was threatened:[5]

The evidence presented to me shows that Winfield is likely to be able to prove at a later trial that prison officials took actions to intimidate Cole to keep him from providing support for Winfield’s clemency petition.[6]

The Missouri Attorney General's Office appealed Judge Perry's stay, and it was later lifted by the Eighth Circuit. Winfield's attorneys then appealed their client's case to the Supreme Court, but it refused to issue a further stay. Governor Jay Nixon denied Winfield clemency, and the inmate was put to death on the day his execution was originally scheduled.[7]

Bogus jailhouse lawyer (2010)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (USA v. Tedrick, 4:09-cr-00476-CDP)

Judge Perry was the presiding judge in the trial of Jeffrey Tedrick. Tedrick was sentenced by Judge Perry to four years in prison on February 16, 2010, for his role in defrauding people by acting as a jailhouse lawyer. The judge's sentence was doubled over the federal sentencing guidelines, which called for a twenty-one- to twenty-seven-month sentence.[8]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Clyde Cahill
Eastern District of Missouri
Seat #2
Succeeded by:

MissouriMissouri Supreme CourtMissouri Court of AppealsMissouri Circuit CourtsMissouri Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MissouriUnited States District Court for the Western District of MissouriUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MissouriUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MissouriUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitMissouri countiesMissouri judicial newsMissouri judicial electionsJudicial selection in MissouriMissouriTemplate.jpg