No. 93-5131.

512 U.S. 967 (1994)


United States Supreme Court.

Decided June 30, 1994.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Howard W. Gillingham, by appointment of the Court, 510 U.S. 1038, argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner in No. 93-5131. Wendy C. Lascher, by appointment of the Court, 510 U.S. 1038, argued the cause for petitioner in No. 93-5161. With her on the brief was Susan B. Lascher.

Wm. George Prahl, Deputy Attorney General of California, argued the cause for respondent in both cases. With him on the brief were Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, and Dane R. Gillette, Deputy Attorney General. Kent S. Scheidegger filed a brief for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation as amicus curiae urging affirmance in both cases.

Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O'Connor, Scalia, Souter, and Thomas, JJ., joined. Scalia, J., p. 980, and Souter, J., p. 980, filed concurring opinions. Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Ginsburg, J., joined, p. 981. Blackmun, J., filed a dissenting opinion, p. 984.

Justice Kennedy, delivered the opinion of the Court.

In California, to sentence a defendant to death for firstdegree murder the trier of fact must find the defendant guilty and also find one or more of 19 special circumstances listed in Cal. Penal Code Ann. § 190.2 (West 1988 and Supp. 1994). The case then proceeds to the penalty phase, where the trier of fact must consider a number of specified factors in deciding whether...

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