death penalty

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The Crime and State Proceedings

On March 15, 1981, Fernando Belmontes burglarized the house of 19-year-old Steacy McConnell. Brief for Petitioner at 2. Upon finding McConnell at home, Belmontes struck her several times in the head with a metal dumbbell...

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Petitioner Carlos Manuel Ayestas was convicted and sentenced to death for murder in 1995. See Ayestas v. Stephens, 817 F.3d 888, 892 (5th Cir. 2016). After the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence, Ayestas petitioned for...

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In 1992, Respondent Michael Bies was convicted of the kidnapping, murder, and attempted rape of a ten-year-old boy. See Bies v. Bagley, 519 F.3d 324, 327 (2008). Bies admitted to participating in the murder with the aid of an accomplice. See State v....

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[Question presented] [Issue] [Facts] [Discussion] [Analysis] Issue

Whether the State of Louisiana’s five-year failure to fund appointed, specially-qualified counsel for an indigent defendant in a capital case should be weighed against the State for...

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Brent Ray Brewer was convicted and sentenced to death in Texas for the murder of Robert Laminack. Petition for Writ of Certiorari at 2, Brewer v. Dretke, No. 05-11287 (May 30, 2006) (“Brewer Petition for Cert.”). At trial, counsel for Brewer introduced...

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At trial in the Superior Court of Kern County California, Ronald Lee Sanders was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery, attempted robbery, and burglary, all stemming from an attempted robbery in Bakersfield, California. See People...

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This case arises from Kevan Brumfield’s 1993 conviction for the murder of a Baton Rouge police officer and an attempted armed robbery. See Brumfield v. Cain, 854 F. Supp. 2d 366, 371 (M.D. La. 2012). On January 5, 1993, Brumfield and an associate went...

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In March 1996, Russell Bucklew followed his former girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, to the trailer home of Michael Sanders, where she was living. Bucklew v. Precythe (“Precythe”) at 1–2. Bucklew entered the trailer and shot Sanders. Id. While Sanders bled to...

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Overview

Congress, as well as any state legislature, may prescribe the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, for capital offenses. The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty does not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and...

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Joe Elton Nixon was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and arson for his involvement in the 1984 murder of a Tallahassee, Florida woman. Nixon v. Florida, 857 So.2d 172 (Fla., 2003). Nixon's attorney offered the prosecutor a guilty plea...

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