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Gregory Frost

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Gregory Frost
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2T
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   03/11/2003 - Present
Preceded by:   George Smith
Past post:   Judge, Licking County Court of Common Pleas
Past term:   1990 - 2003
Personal History
Born:   1949
Hometown:   Newark, OH
Undergraduate:   Wittenberg University, 1971
Law School:   Ohio Northern University Law, 1974

Gregory L. Frost is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.


An Ohio native, Frost graduated from Wittenberg University with his bachelor's degree in 1971, and his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Law School in 1974.[1]

Professional career

Frost started his legal career as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Licking County Prosecuting Attorney's Office from 1974 to 1978. From 1978 to 1983, Frost worked a partner in the law firm of Schaller, Frost, Hostetter & Campbell. While there, Frost specialized his practice in personal injury lawsuits, domestic relations matters, and small business issues.[2] In 1983, Frost began his judicial career when the people of Licking County elected him as judge of the county's municipal court. He then transitioned to serve as judge of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas. He remained in that post until he was elevated to the federal bench.[1]

Judicial career

Southern District of Ohio

On the recommendation of Senators Mike DeWine and George Vonovich, Frost was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 7, 2003, to a seat vacated by George Smith. Frost was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a senate vote on March 10, 2003, and received commission on March 11, 2003.[1]

Notable cases

Ohio suspends use of lethal injection for death penalty executions (2014)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
On May 31, 2014, Judge Frost ordered stays of execution in the cases of Ronald Phillips and William Montgomery following a drug-related mishap that occurred during the execution death of Dennis McGuire in January 2014.[3]

In the underlying case, McGuire was the first in Ohio to receive a new drug cocktail due to the unavailability of the standard medications administered to bring about death. Use of the new medications resulted in his prolonged and painful death. McGuire convulsed and choked, saying that he could "feel his body burning." He died after twenty-five minutes of this ordeal. McGuire’s family filed a lawsuit against Ohio after his death.[3]

Thereafter, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said it would use the same drug cocktail in future executions, but in larger doses to avoid similar errors. It was then that Judge Frost issued a moratorium on lethal injection, as there was no indication that greater doses of the same drug would result in “a more merciful death.” He further referred to the use of the unreliable drug cocktail in executions as cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.[3]

Judge Frost ordered that the stays be lifted on August 15, 2014, but only after Ohio lawmakers adopted a new protocol for death penalty executions.[3]


Judge Frost extended the stay on executions in Ohio until January 15, 2015, amid concerns about the two-drug cocktail used for executions in Ohio and other states.[4] This extension by Frost will delay pending executions scheduled for the fall of 2014 in Ohio.[5]

Ohio execution delay (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Richard Cooey, et al., v. Ted Strickland, et al., 2:04-cv-01156-GLF-MRA)

Judge Frost delayed an execution scheduled by the Ohio Department of Corrections in December of 2009. Judge Frost indefinitely delayed the execution of Kenneth Biros, a convicted rapist, as the judge asked the Ohio Department of Corrections to review its execution protocol using the lethal injection method. This was the fourth execution in Ohio put on hold since September 15, 2009, when a scheduled execution of Romell Broom failed, raising questions on the effectiveness of capital punishment.[6] On December 7, 2009, the Sixth Circuit ruled that there wasn't enough evidence for Biros to claim that Ohio's new backup execution method violated the Constitution of the United States. Biros was executed the next day.[7]

Inmate gets stay order after botched execution attempt (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Romell Broom, v. Ted Strickland, et al., 2:09-cv-00823-GLF-MRA)

Romell Broom, a prisoner facing execution via lethal injection for raping and murdering a fourteen-year-old girl, had his execution stayed by Judge Frost on September 18, 2009. Judge Frost temporarily stayed the execution after the Ohio Department of Corrections officials who conducted the attempted execution failed to maintain an IV connection in order to use the lethal injection on Broom. The Ohio Supreme Court was responsible for scheduling a new execution date.

Columbus, Ohio police sick leave case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Lisa Lee, et al., v. The City of Columbus, Ohio, et al., 2:07-cv-1230)

On July 15, 2009, Judge Frost ruled to strike down a Columbus Police Department sick-leave policy that required disclosure of medical information on doctor's notes. A number of former dispatchers sued the city in 2007, claiming that they were reprimanded by the City of Columbus if they did not provide a doctor's note when ill. The former employees claimed that their privacy was compromised as the Columbus Police Department required the "nature of illness" to be disclosed in a doctors note. This requirement, according to the affidavit filed, prevented employees from submitting doctor's notes when documenting an absence. In October of 2008, Judge Frost ordered a temporary injunction against the City of Columbus to not enforce the policy. His later ruling permanently prohibited the City of Columbus from enforcing the sick leave policy.[8] Judge Frost found that "the Columbus Police Department allowed unwarranted intrusion into personal medical records," and in his opinion, wrote that, "Determining staffing or the ability to dispatch police does not involve ascertaining whether an employee has genital warts, to cite one obvious if unseemly hypothetical example."[8]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
George Smith
Southern District of Ohio
Seat #2T
Succeeded by:

OhioOhio Supreme CourtOhio District Courts of AppealOhio Courts of Common PleasOhio County CourtsOhio Municipal CourtsOhio Court of ClaimsUnited States District Court for the Northern District of OhioUnited States District Court for the Southern District of OhioUnited States bankruptcy court, Northern District of OhioUnited States bankruptcy court, Southern District of OhioUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitOhio countiesOhio judicial newsOhio judicial electionsJudicial selection in OhioOhioTemplate.jpg