JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.
The issue before us is whether respondent Robyn Leroy Parks, whose conviction and death sentence became final in
A passing motorist found Abdullah Ibrahim, a native of Bangladesh, dead inside the Oklahoma City gas station where Ibrahim worked. The victim died from a single chest wound inflicted by a .45-caliber pistol. Parks admitted the murder to a friend, and the police obtained tapes of that statement. Parks said that he shot Ibrahim because he was afraid Ibrahim would tell the police that Parks used a stolen credit card to purchase gasoline.
In 1978, a jury found Parks guilty of capital murder. During the sentencing phase of the trial, Parks offered as mitigating evidence the testimony of his father, who described Parks' background and character. Parks' counsel relied upon this testimony in his closing argument, arguing that Parks' youth, race, school experiences, and broken home were mitigating factors that the jury should consider in making its sentencing decision. He asked the jury to show "kindness" to Parks in consideration of his background.
After instructing the jury that it must consider all of the mitigating circumstances, statutory or nonstatutory, proffered by Parks, and that it could consider any mitigating circumstances
After finding as an aggravating circumstance that the murder was "committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution," Okla. Stat., Tit. 21, § 701.12 (1981), the jury sentenced Parks to death.
Parks' conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Parks v. State, 651 P.2d 686 (1982), and we denied certiorari, 459 U.S. 1155 (1983). After seeking postconviction relief in the state courts, Parks filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Federal District Court arguing, inter alia, that the antisympathy instruction delivered in the penalty phase violated the Eighth Amendment because it in effect told the jury to disregard the mitigating evidence that Parks had presented. The District Court denied relief, and a divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed. Parks v. Brown, 840 F.2d 1496 (1988). On rehearing, the Tenth Circuit sitting en banc reversed, holding that the antisympathy instruction was unconstitutional for the reasons advanced by Parks. Parks v. Brown, 860 F.2d 1545 (1988). We granted certiorari, 490 U.S. 1034 (1989), and now reverse.
Parks petitions the federal courts for a writ of habeas corpus. As he is before us on collateral review, we must first determine whether the relief sought would create a new rule under our holdings in Teague v. Lane, supra, at 299-301, and Penry, supra, at 313. If so, we will neither announce nor apply the new rule sought by Parks unless it would fall
In Teague, we defined a new rule as a rule that "breaks new ground," "imposes a new obligation on the States or the Federal Government," or was not "dictated by precedent existing at the time the defendant's conviction became final." Teague, supra, at 301 (plurality opinion) (emphasis in original). The explicit overruling of an earlier holding no doubt creates a new rule; it is more difficult, however, to determine whether we announce a new rule when a decision extends the reasoning of our prior cases. As we recognized in Butler v. McKellar, ante, at 412-414, the question must be answered by reference to the underlying purposes of the habeas writ. Foremost among these is ensuring that state courts conduct criminal proceedings in accordance with the Constitution as interpreted at the time of the proceedings. See ante, at 413. " `[T]he threat of habeas serves as a necessary additional incentive for trial and appellate courts throughout the land to conduct their proceedings in a manner consistent with established constitutional standards. In order to perform this deterrence function, . . . the habeas court need only apply the constitutional standards that prevailed at the time the original proceedings took place.' " Teague, supra, at 306 (quoting Desist v. United States, 394 U.S. 244, 262-263 (1969) (Harlan, J., dissenting)). See also Solem v. Stumes, 465 U.S. 638, 653 (1984) (Powell, J., concurring in judgment). "The `new rule' principle therefore validates reasonable, good-faith interpretations of existing precedents made by state courts even though they are shown to be contrary to later decisions." Butler, ante, at 414. Under this functional view of what constitutes a new rule, our task is to determine whether a state court considering Parks' claim at the time his conviction became final would have felt compelled by existing precedent to conclude that the rule Parks seeks was required by the Constitution.
Parks contends that the result he seeks does not involve the creation of a new rule. Relying upon our decisions in
In Lockett, a plurality of the Court decided that an Ohio death penalty statute that limited the jury's consideration to specified mitigating circumstances violated the constitutional requirement of individualized sentencing in capital cases. See 438 U. S., at 605. The plurality based its conclusion on the view that "the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments require that the sentencer . . . not be precluded from considering, as a mitigating factor, any aspect of a defendant's character or record and any of the circumstances of the offense that the defendant proffers as a basis for a sentence less than death." Id., at 604 (emphasis in original; footnotes omitted).
In Eddings, the view adopted by the Lockett plurality ripened into a holding of the Court. We ruled that a sentencing judge's refusal, as a matter of law, to consider mitigating evidence presented by a capital defendant concerning his family history and upbringing was constitutional error. Relying on the plurality opinion in Lockett, the Court reasoned:
Review of our decisions in Lockett and Eddings convinces us that the two cases do not dictate the result urged by Parks. There is no dispute as to the precise holding in each of the two cases: that the State cannot bar relevant mitigating evidence from being presented and considered during the penalty phase of a capital trial. These two cases place clear limits on the ability of the State to define the factual bases upon which the capital sentencing decision must be made. Indeed, that is how we have interpreted these decisions in later cases. See Hitchcock v. Dugger, 481 U.S. 393, 398-399 (1987) (instruction to advisory jury not to consider nonstatutory mitigating circumstances, and refusal by sentencing judge to consider the same); Skipper v. South Carolina, 476 U.S. 1, 4-5 (1986) (exclusion of evidence regarding defendant's postoffense conduct).
Lockett and Eddings do not speak directly, if at all, to the issue presented here: whether the State may instruct the sentencer to render its decision on the evidence without sympathy. Parks asks us to create a rule relating, not to what mitigating evidence the jury must be permitted to consider in making its sentencing decision, but to how it must consider the mitigating evidence. There is a simple and logical difference between rules that govern what factors the jury must be permitted to consider in making its sentencing decision and rules that govern how the State may guide the jury in considering and weighing those factors in reaching a decision. We thus cannot say that the large majority of federal and state courts that have rejected challenges to antisympathy instructions similar to that given at Parks' trial have been unreasonable in concluding that the instructions do not violate the rule of Lockett and Eddings. See Byrne v. Butler, 847 F.2d 1135, 1138-1140 (CA5 1988); People v. Emerson, 122 Ill.2d 411, 442-443, 522 N.E.2d 1109, 1122 (1987), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 900 (1988); State v. Ramseur, 106 N.J. 123, 295-299,
Parks contends that our decision in Penry that the relief sought there did not call for the creation of a new rule compels a similar result in this case. We disagree. In Penry, we held that resolution of a claim that the Texas death penalty scheme prevented the jury from considering and giving effect to certain types of mitigating evidence did not involve the creation of a new rule under Teague. See Penry, 492 U. S., at 315. To the extent that Penry's claim was that the Texas system prevented the jury from giving any mitigating effect to the evidence of his mental retardation and abuse in childhood, the decision that the claim did not require the creation of a new rule is not surprising. Lockett and Eddings command that the State must allow the jury to give effect to mitigating evidence in making the sentencing decision; Penry's contention was that Texas barred the jury from so acting. Here, by contrast, there is no contention that the State altogether prevented Parks' jury from considering, weighing, and giving effect to all of the mitigating evidence that Parks put before them; rather, Parks' contention is that the State has unconstitutionally limited the manner in which his mitigating evidence may be considered. As we have concluded above, the former contention would come under the rule of Lockett and Eddings; the latter does not.
Penry's claim, moreover, did not ask us to apply the reasoning of Lockett and Eddings so much as it required us to apply our decision in Jurek v. Texas, 428 U.S. 262 (1976).
The Penry Court's conclusion that Lockett and Eddings dictated the rule sought by Penry, see 492 U. S., at 318-319, must be understood in terms of the Court's ruling in Jurek, and its application in later cases. We did not view Lockett and Eddings as creating a rule different from that relied upon in Jurek; rather, we indicated that Lockett and Eddings reaffirmed the reasoning in Jurek, see 492 U. S., at 317-319, and confirmed the necessity of its application to Penry's claim.
We also reject Parks' contention that the antisympathy instruction runs afoul of Lockett and Eddings because jurors who react sympathetically to mitigating evidence may interpret the instruction as barring them from considering that evidence altogether. This argument misapprehends the distinction between allowing the jury to consider mitigating evidence and guiding their consideration. It is no doubt constitutionally permissible, if not constitutionally required, see Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 189-195 (1976) (opinion of Stewart, Powell, and STEVENS, JJ.), for the State to insist that "the individualized assessment of the appropriateness of the death penalty [be] a moral inquiry into the culpability
Given the above discussion, it is obvious that our decision in California v. Brown is of no assistance to Parks. In Brown, we held that an instruction telling the jury not to be "swayed by `mere sentiment, conjecture, sympathy, passion, prejudice, public opinion or public feeling' " during the sentencing phase did not violate the Eighth Amendment. See id., at 542. We reasoned that a reasonable juror would interpret the instruction to ignore mere sympathy "as an admonition to ignore emotional responses that are not rooted in the aggravating and mitigating evidence," and that it was not unconstitutional for a State to "prohibi[t] juries from basing
Parks' argument relies upon a negative inference: because we concluded in Brown that it was permissible under the Constitution to prevent the jury from considering emotions not based upon the evidence, it follows that the Constitution requires that the jury be allowed to consider and give effect to emotions that are based upon mitigating evidence. For the reasons discussed above, see supra, at 488-491, we doubt that this inference follows from Brown or is consistent with our precedents. The same doubts are shared by the clear majority of federal and state courts that have passed upon the constitutionality of antisympathy instructions after Brown. See supra, at 490-491. The fact remains, however, that even if we accept Parks' arguments, Brown itself was decided nearly four years after Parks' conviction became final. In order to gain the benefit, if any, of Brown, Parks must establish that the decision in Brown did not create a new rule. To do so, Parks must contend that Lockett and Eddings dictated our reasoning, albeit perhaps not the result, in Brown. Our discussion above makes it evident that they do not.
Having decided that the relief Parks seeks would necessitate the creation of a new rule, we must determine whether the rule would come within either of the two exceptions to the general principle that new rules will not be applied on collateral review. The first exception permits the retroactive application of a new rule if the rule places a class of private conduct beyond the power of the State to proscribe, see Teague, 489 U. S., at 311, or addresses a "substantive categorical guarante[e] accorded by the Constitution," such as a rule "prohibiting a certain category of punishment for a class of defendants because of their status or offense." Penry,
The second exception is for "watershed rules of criminal procedure" implicating the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the criminal proceeding. See Teague, supra, at 311 (plurality opinion); Butler, ante, at 416. This exception is also inapplicable here. Although the precise contours of this exception may be difficult to discern, we have usually cited Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), holding that a defendant has the right to be represented by counsel in all criminal trials for serious offenses, to illustrate the type of rule coming within the exception. See, e. g., Teague, supra, at 311-312 (plurality opinion); Stumes, 465 U. S., at 653-654, and n. 4 (Powell, J., concurring in judgment). Whatever one may think of the importance of respondent's proposed rule, it has none of the primacy and centrality of the rule adopted in Gideon or other rules which may be thought to be within the exception. The objectives of fairness and accuracy are more likely to be threatened than promoted by a rule allowing the sentence to turn not on whether the defendant, in the eyes of the community, is morally deserving of the death sentence, but on whether the defendant can strike an emotional chord in a juror.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore reversed.
It is so ordered.
JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL joins, and with whom JUSTICE BLACKMUN and JUSTICE STEVENS join except as to Part IV, dissenting.
Respondent Robyn Parks was sentenced to death for the murder of a gas station attendant. After his conviction became
In Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989), the Court dramatically altered retroactivity doctrine as it applies to defendants challenging their confinement by the State through the collateral remedy of habeas corpus. The Court held that a habeas petitioner may not obtain relief from an unconstitutional conviction or sentence if his claim would require the recognition of a "new rule" of criminal procedure. Id., at 310 (plurality opinion); id., at 320 (STEVENS, J., joined by BLACKMUN, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). Today, in Butler v. McKellar, ante, at 415, the Court defines a "new rule" as one that was "susceptible to debate among reasonable minds" under law prevailing at the time the habeas petitioner's conviction became final. As I argued in my dissent in Butler, the Court's novel "reasonableness" review of state court convictions is incompatible with the fundamental purposes of habeas corpus. See Butler, ante, at 424-430.
The Court's decisions in the instant case and in Butler leave no doubt that the Court has limited drastically the scope of habeas corpus relief through the application of a virtually all-encompassing definition of "new rule." In this case, the Court concludes that respondent seeks a "new rule" because it determines that the few lower courts that have rejected similar challenges to an antisympathy instruction were not "unreasonable" for doing so. Ante, at 490 ("We thus cannot say that the large majority of federal and state courts that have rejected challenges to antisympathy instructions similar to that given at Park's trial have been unreasonable").
Most of the majority opinion addresses the retroactivity of a claim not even raised by respondent. The majority mischaracterizes respondent's claim as one demanding that "jurors be allowed to base the sentencing decision upon the sympathy they feel for the defendant after hearing his mitigating evidence," ante, at 489, and holds that claim barred by Teague. See ante, at 488-494. But as counsel for respondent argued before this Court:
Respondent concedes the State's contention that a decision to impose the death penalty must reflect a "reasoned moral response" to the defendant's culpability. See, e. g., Brief for Respondent 9. What he argues is that his jury could have interpreted the antisympathy instruction as barring consideration
It was on this claim that the Tenth Circuit granted respondent habeas corpus relief. 860 F. 2d, at 1556. The court reasoned as follows:
In holding that the antisympathy instruction "undermined the jury's ability to consider fully [respondent's] mitigating evidence," the Tenth Circuit was careful to distinguish the claim at issue from the distorted version of respondent's claim that the Court revives today:
Under Teague, respondent's claim must be decided according to the "prevailing law" at the time his conviction became final in 1983 unless his claim falls within one of the two exceptions to the general nonretroactivity presumption. See Teague, 489 U. S., at 311. By 1983, this Court had unequivocally held that a sentencer may "not be precluded from considering, as a mitigating factor, any aspect of a defendant's character or record and any of the circumstances of the offense that the defendant proffers as a basis for a sentence less than death." Lockett, 438 U. S., at 604; see also Eddings, 455 U. S., at 113-114 ("Just as the State may not by statute preclude the sentencer from considering any mitigating factor, neither may the sentencer refuse to consider, as a matter of law, any relevant mitigating evidence"); id., at 115, n. 10 (when state law allows defendant to present any relevant mitigating evidence, "Lockett requires the sentencer to listen"). Despite the fact that respondent's conviction was final after both Lockett and Eddings were decided, the Court today holds that respondent is not entitled to habeas corpus relief because his claim requires the application of a "new rule" of criminal procedure. The majority states that although Lockett and Eddings may "inform, or even control or govern" such a claim, they do not "compel" the rule Parks seeks. Ante, at 491. The Court reasons that Lockett and Eddings answered only the question "what mitigating evidence the jury must be permitted to consider in making the sentencing decision" and not "how it must consider the mitigating evidence." Ante, at 490 (emphasis in original); see ibid. ("There is a simple and logical difference between rules that govern what factors the jury must be permitted to consider. . . and rules that govern how the State may guide the jury in considering and weighing those factors in reaching a decision").
Respondent does not, however, raise a claim challenging how the jury considered mitigating evidence. As explained
Moreover, the majority's limited reading of Lockett and Eddings was rejected last Term in Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989). In that case, we held that Teague did not bar a habeas petitioner from raising the claim that the Texas death penalty statute deprived him of an individualized sentencing determination by limiting the effect the jury could give to relevant mitigating evidence. 492 U. S., at 318. We explained:
Penry argued that although a Texas jury was able to give some effect to the evidence of mental retardation, the evidence "ha[d] relevance to his moral culpability beyond the
The majority struggles mightily to distinguish rules that govern a jury's ability to "consider," "weigh," and "give effect to" mitigating evidence from rules relating to the "manner in which [the] mitigating evidence can be considered." Ante, at 491 (emphasis added). This distinction is meaningless for a rule that limits the manner in which the jury considers mitigating evidence is unconstitutional if it limits the jury's ability to consider and give effect to that evidence. But under the majority's approach, a law requiring the jury to discount the weight of all, or of certain, mitigating factors would be consistent with Lockett so long as the majority could describe the statute as relating to the "manner" in which the jury considers the evidence despite such a statute's obvious preclusive effect. Cf. McKoy v. North Carolina, ante, at 465-466 (SCALIA, J., dissenting) (requirement that jury unanimously agree that mitigating circumstance exists is not a restriction on the jury's ability to give effect to mitigating evidence, but only on the "manner in which it was allowed to do so — viz., only unanimously") (citing ante, at 490).
Indeed, the majority's language is strangely reminiscent of the argument trumpeted by JUSTICE SCALIA in Penry. JUSTICE SCALIA, writing for four Members of the Court, argued that "it could not be clearer that Jurek adopted the constitutional rule that the instructions had to render all mitigating circumstances relevant to the jury's verdict, but that the precise manner of their relevance — the precise effect of their consideration — could be channeled by law." Penry, supra, at 355 (opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part). The Court correctly rejected that position in Penry, and its failure to do so today creates considerable ambiguity
Because the majority concludes that the claim respondent presses would constitute a "new rule," it must proceed to consider whether the claim fits within the second exception to the Teague doctrine of nonretroactivity.
The determination with which the Court refuses to apply this exception to a capital sentencing error is most disturbing and is remarkably insensitive to the fundamental premise upon which our Eighth Amendment jurisprudence is built. This Court has consistently "recognized that the qualitative difference of death from all other punishments requires a correspondingly greater degree of scrutiny of the capital sentencing determination." California v. Ramos, 463 U.S. 992, 998-999 (1983). If the irrevocable nature of the death penalty is not sufficient to counsel against application of Justice Harlan's doctrine of limited retroactivity for collateral review
For the same reasons that Lockett and Eddings compel the conclusion that respondent does not seek a "new rule" under Teague, these cases also compel the conclusion that respondent was denied an individualized sentencing determination as required by the Eighth Amendment. As JUSTICE O'CONNOR has recognized, "one difficulty with attempts to remove emotion from capital sentencing through [antisympathy] instructions. . . is that juries may be misled into believing that mitigating evidence about a defendant's background or character also must be ignored." California v. Brown, 479 U. S., at 545-546 (concurring opinion) (citing id., at 555 (BRENNAN, J., dissenting)). That is exactly what happened in this case: in all likelihood the jury interpreted the antisympathy instruction as a command to ignore the mitigating evidence.
When reviewing the validity of particular jury instructions, the Court has consistently held that "[t]he question. . . is not what [this Court] declares the meaning of the charge to be, but rather what a reasonable juror could have understood the charge as meaning." Francis v. Franklin, 471 U.S. 307, 315-316 (1985) (citing Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510, 516-517 (1979)). Until this Term, there had been little disagreement with this standard. Today, however, a majority of the Court reformulates the appropriate inquiry as "whether there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the challenged instruction" in an unconstitutional manner. Boyde v. California, ante, at 380.
"To determine how a reasonable juror could interpret an instruction, we `must focus initially on the specific language challenged.' . . . If the specific instruction fails constitutional muster, we then review the instructions as a whole to see if the entire charge delivered a correct interpretation of the law." California v. Brown, supra, at 541 (quoting Francis, supra, at 315-316).
The context of the sentencing proceedings bolsters this conclusion. The only mitigating evidence proffered by respondent was testimony about his deprived background from his father. Although this evidence was relevant to the sentencing decision because it bore on respondent's culpability, a juror's initial reaction to this evidence might have been to feel sympathy for respondent because of his hardship. A juror who conscientiously followed the instruction to avoid any sympathy would have believed that he was required to ignore the father's testimony altogether since only by excluding it completely from consideration could he eliminate all feelings of sympathy for respondent. Moreover, because the father's testimony did not fit within the mitigating circumstances listed by the judge, it was all the more likely that a juror believed that the father's testimony was irrelevant to the sentencing decision.
Indeed, the prosecutor's closing argument maintained that respondent's presentation at the sentencing phase constituted an illegitimate sympathy ploy and that the jury was required to ignore it.
Given the sparse amount of evidence presented at the sentencing phase and the prosecutor's theme that the jury's deliberations
Nothing in the other instructions ensured that the antisympathy instruction would be correctly understood. The trial judge did instruct the jury that it was required to consider a list of minimum mitigating circumstances and that it was free to consider any other factor it deemed mitigating,
The majority suggests that Lockett and Eddings do not compel the invalidation of the antisympathy instruction because the instruction ensures that the decision to impose the death penalty is "a `reasoned moral response,' rather than an emotional one." Ante, at 493 (citation omitted; emphasis in original). Although some recent cases have stated that the decision to impose the death penalty must be a moral decision, see Brown, 479 U. S., at 545 (O'CONNOR, J., concurring); Penry, 492 U. S., at 319; Franklin v. Lynaugh, 487 U. S., at 184, 185 (O'CONNOR, J., concurring), those cases have not clearly defined the difference between a "reasoned moral response" and an "emotional" one. Indeed, our earlier cases recognized that "sympathy" is an important ingredient in the Eighth Amendment's requirement of an individualized sentencing determination. In Woodson v. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976), a plurality of the Court held that "[a] process that accords no significance to relevant facets of the character and record of the individual offender or the circumstances
We can debate whether sympathy is an emotional reaction that has no place in a decision to impose the death penalty or whether sympathy, although an emotion, plays an important role in forming the jury's moral response to the defendant's actions. But this debate is an irrelevant academic exercise if in a particular case the jury is not informed of the distinction between the type of reaction to mitigating evidence that is an invalid emotional response and the type of reaction that is an acceptable "reasoned moral response." This Court's incantation of that talismanic phrase cannot hide the fact that the jury instructions in this case did not clearly inform the jurors that their decision whether to impose the death penalty — the most severe sanction available to society — should represent a moral judgment about the defendant's culpability in light of all the available evidence. I would think the Court would at least ensure that its views about the propriety of the death penalty were the ones actually transmitted to the jury.
The instructions at the sentencing phase of respondent's trial may well have misled the jury about its duty to consider the mitigating evidence respondent presented. Until today, the Court consistently has vacated a death sentence and remanded for resentencing when there was any ambiguity about whether the sentencer actually considered mitigating evidence. See Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U. S., at 119
Even if I did not believe that the antisympathy instruction interfered with the jury's ability to consider and give effect to mitigating evidence, I would vacate respondent's death sentence. I adhere to my view that the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U. S., at 227.
In addition, the plurality in Teague implied that the scope of the second exception was narrow because most fundamental rules of procedure have already been established. The Court today apparently rests its cursory treatment of this issue on that same assumption. Regardless of the validity of that premise with respect to rules pertaining to the guilt phase, that understanding is unsupportable when dealing with issues in the capital sentencing context. "In capital cases the finality of the sentence imposed warrants protections that may or may not be required in other cases." Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68, 87 (1985) (Burger, C. J., concurring in judgment).
"The minimum mitigating circumstances are:
"1. The defendant has no significant history of prior criminal activity;
"2. The murder was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance;
"3. The victim was a participant in the defendant's homicidal conduct or consented to the homicidal act;
"4. The murder was committed under circumstances which the defendant believed to provide a moral justification or extenuation for his conduct;
"5. The defendant was an accomplice in a murder committed by another person and his participation in the homicidal act was relatively minor;
"6. The defendant acted under duress or under the domination of another person;
"7. At the time of the murder the capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality (wrongfulness) of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirement of the law was impaired as a result of mental disease or intoxication;
"8. The age of the defendant at the time of the crime." App. 11-12.
"[Y]ou're not yourself putting Robyn Parks to death. You just have become a part of the criminal justice system that says when anyone does this, that he must suffer death. So all you are doing is you're just following the law, and what the law says, and on your verdict — once your verdict comes back in, the law takes over. The law does all of these things, so it's not on your conscience. You're just part of the criminal justice system that says when this type of thing happens, that whoever does such a horrible, atrocious thing must suffer death.
"Now that's man's law. But God's law is the very same. God's law says that the murderer shall suffer death. So don't let it bother your conscience, you know." Id., at 39-40 (emphasis added).
"You must consider all the following minimum mitigating circumstances and determine whether any one or more of them apply to all of the evidence, facts and circumstances of this case. You are not limited in your consideration of the minimum mitigating circumstances set out herein, and you may consider any other or additional mitigating circumstances, if any, that you may find from the evidence to exist in this case. What facts or evidence that may constitute an additional mitigating circumstance is for the jury to determine." Id., at 10-11.