No. 203.

402 U.S. 183 (1971)


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided May 3, 1971

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Herman F. Selvin, by appointment of the Court, 400 U.S. 885, argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner in No. 203. John J. Callahan, by appointment of the Court, 399 U.S. 924, argued the cause for petitioner in No. 204. With him on the brief were Dan H. McCullough, William T. Burgess, William D. Driscoll, and Gerald S. Lubitsky.

Ronald M. George, Deputy Attorney General of California, argued the cause for respondent in No. 203. With him on the brief were Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General, and William E. James, Assistant Attorney General. Melvin L. Resnick argued the cause for respondent in No. 204. With him on the brief were Harry Friberg and Alice L. Robie Resnick.

Solicitor General Griswold argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging affirmance in both cases. With him on the brief was Philip A. Lacovara.

Jack Greenberg, James M. Nabrit III, Michael Meltsner, and Anthony G. Amsterdam filed a brief for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., et al. as amici curiae in both cases. Luke McKissack filed a brief as amicus curiae in No. 203. Briefs of amici curiae in No. 204 were filed by Richard F. Stevens for the Attorney General of Ohio; by Elmer Gertz and Willard J. Lassers for the American Civil Liberties Union, Illinois Division, et al.; and by Messrs. Lassers, Gertz, Alex Elson, and Marvin Braiterman for the American Friends Service Committee et al.

MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioners McGautha and Crampton were convicted of murder in the first degree in the courts of California and Ohio respectively and sentenced to death pursuant to the statutes of those States. In each case the decision whether the defendant should live or die was left to the absolute discretion of the jury. In McGautha's case the jury, in accordance with California law, determined punishment in a separate proceeding...

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