LOCATION:Alabama Department of Corrections
DOCKET NO.: 75-1861
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: New York Court of Appeals
CITATION: 432 US 197 (1977)
ARGUED: Mar 01, 1977
DECIDED: Jun 17, 1977
John M. Finnerty –
Victor J. Rubino – for the appellant
Media for Patterson v. New York
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 17, 1977 in Patterson v. New York
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinions of the Court in 75-1861, Patterson against New York and 75-6568, Hankerson against North Carolina will be announced by Mr. Justice White.
Byron R. White:
The Patterson case is here from the Court of Appeals for the State of New York.
In New York, the crime is second degree murder is made out when the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a killing and that the actor intended to kill.
The — under the law, however, if the defendant proves by proponents of the evidence that he acted that he acted under extreme emotional distress, he is guilty only of manslaughter.
Patterson was convicted of — of a second degree murder and his claim here is that placing the burden approving the affirmative defense of extreme emotional distress is contrary to the Due Process Clause as construed and applied by this Court in Mullaney against Wilbur a few terms ago.
The New York Court of Appeals rejected that claim and we affirm that judgment.
We distinguish Mullaney in whole that there has been no denial of rights under the Due Process Clause in this case.
Mr. Justice Powell has filed a dissenting opinion.
He is joined by Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Marshall.
Mr. Justice Rehnquist took no part in the decision or consideration of this case.