LOCATION: Pima County Jail
DOCKET NO.: 87-5468
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
CITATION: 486 US 578 (1988)
ARGUED: Apr 25, 1988
DECIDED: Jun 13, 1988
Facts of the case
Media for Johnson v. MississippiAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 25, 1988 in Johnson v. Mississippi
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 13, 1988 in Johnson v. Mississippi
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinion of the Court in No. 87-5468, Johnson against Mississippi will be announced by Justice Stevens.
John Paul Stevens:
This is a capital case that comes to us on writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Mississippi.
A petitioner was convicted of murder and sentenced to death largely that in the sentencing hearing great emphasis was placed on the fact that he had previously been convicted of a felony in New York and that substantiated one of the aggravating circumstances to justify the death sentence.
However, after he had been sentenced, the New York conviction was reversed by the New York Court of Appeals and the question then arose as to whether the death sentence could stand when it was impart based on a factual conviction that was no longer valid.
And in the unanimous judgment today, we reverse the holding of the Mississippi Supreme Court and remand the case for further proceedings.
Justice Brennan has filed a statement joined by Justice Marshall, concurring and Justice White has filed a statement -- a concurring statement joined by the Chief Justice, and Justice O'Connor has joined in the judgment but not in the opinion of the Court.