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(95-6510),
Opinion
[ Rehnquist ]
Syllabus
Dissent
[ Stevens ]
Dissent
[ Ginsburg ]
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No. 95-6510


COLEMAN WAYNE GRAY, PETITIONER v. J. D. NETHERLAND, WARDEN

on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the fourth circuit

[June 20, 1996]

Justice Stevens, dissenting.

Justice Ginsburg has cogently explained why well settled law requires the reversal of the judgment of the Court of Appeals. I join her opinion with this additional observation. The evidence tending to support the proposition that petitioner committed the Sorrell murders was not even sufficient to support the filing of charges against him. Whatever limits due process places upon the introduction of evidence of unadjudicated conduct in capital cases, they surely were exceeded here. Given the "vital importance" that "any decision to impose the death sentence be, and appear to be, based on reason rather than caprice or emotion", the sentencing proceeding would have been fundamentally unfair even if the prosecutors had given defense counsel fair notice of their intent to offer this evidence. See Gardner v. Florida, 430 U.S. 349, 357-358 (1977) (Opinion of Stevens, J.).