471 U.S. 1143 (1985), 84-6601, Davis v. Kemp

Docket Nº:No. 84-6601
Citation:471 U.S. 1143, 105 S.Ct. 2689, 86 L.Ed.2d 707
Party Name:Curfew DAVIS v. Ralph KEMP, Warden
Case Date:June 03, 1985
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 1143

471 U.S. 1143 (1985)

105 S.Ct. 2689, 86 L.Ed.2d 707

Curfew DAVIS


Ralph KEMP, Warden

No. 84-6601

United States Supreme Court.

June 3, 1985


[105 S.Ct. 2690] On Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The petition for writ of certiorari is denied.

Justice BRENNAN and Justice MARSHALL, dissenting.

Adhering to our views that the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth

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and Fourteenth Amendments, Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 227, 231, 96 S.Ct. 2909, 2950, 2973, 49 L.Ed.2d 859 (1976), we would grant certiorari and vacate the death sentence in this case.

Justice WHITE, dissenting.

In Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510, 99 S.Ct. 2450, 61 L.Ed.2d 39 (1979), we held that where intent is an element of the crime charged, a jury instruction that "the law presumes that a person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary acts" violates the Fourteenth Amendment's requirement that the State prove every element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In Connecticut v. Johnson, 460 U.S. 73, 103 S.Ct. 969, 74 L.Ed.2d 823 (1983), we granted certiorari to resolve the question whether the giving of such a burden-shifting instruction may ever be deemed harmless error. Johnson, however, left that question unanswered: a plurality took the position that Sandstrom error was virtually never harmless, while four Justices would have found such errors harmless if a reviewing court could say beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury would have found it unnecessary to rely on the presumption. 460 U.S., at 97, n. 5, 103 S.Ct., at 983, n. 5.1 On two subsequent occasions, we have granted certiorari in cases raising the harmless-error question, but on both occasions we have not resolved it. Engle v. Koehler, 707 F.2d 241 (CA6 1983), aff'd by an equally divided Court, 466 U.S. 1, 104 S.Ct. 1673, 80 L.Ed.2d 1 (1984); Francis v. Franklin, 471 U.S. 307, 105 S.Ct. 1965, 85 L.Ed.2d 344 (1985).

In the present case, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, correctly held that the jury instructions given at petitioner's trial for first-degree murder unconstitutionally shifted the burden of proof on the issues of malice and intent. 752 F.2d 1515 (1985). See Francis v. Franklin, supra. 2 Noting...

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