Schiro v. Farley

RESPONDENT:Farley, Superintendent, Indiana State Prison, et al.
LOCATION:Pomona Police Department

DOCKET NO.: 92-7549
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1993-1994)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 510 US 222 (1994)
ARGUED: Nov 01, 1993
DECIDED: Jan 19, 1994

Arend J. Abel – on behalf of the Respondents
Deputy Attorney General – for respondents
Monica Foster – on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Schiro v. Farley

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – November 01, 1993 in Schiro v. Farley

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – January 19, 1994 in Schiro v. Farley

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 92-7549, Schiro against Farley will be announced Justice O’Connor.

Sandra Day O’Connor:

This case comes to us on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The petitioner killed a young woman and was charged with three counts of murder.

In count one, he was charged with knowing or intentional murder.

In count two, he was charged with murder while committing rape.

In count three, he was charged with murder while committing deviant sexual conduct.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty on count two, murder while committing rape, but left the remaining verdict sheets blank.

At an advisory sentencing hearing, the jury recommended against capital punishment.

The trial judge rejected the jury’s sentencing recommendation and imposed a death sentence finding that the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt the statutory aggravating factor that petitioner had committed the murder by intentionally killing?

[01:21 Audio Cut] …writ of habeas corpus holding that the sentence of death did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

In the opinion filed today, we also affirm.

Although this Court has discretion to reach the state’s argument that granting relief to petitioner would require retroactive application of a new rule in violation of the principle announced in Teague against Lane, we will not do so in this case where the state did not raise the Teague argument in the lower courts or in its brief in opposition to the… [01:58 Audio Cut] …circumstance.

Because the sentencing proceeding amounted to a successive prosecution for intentional murder in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause, we hold today that the capital sentencing proceeding did not amount to a successive prosecution.

Because a second sentencing proceeding following retrial ordinarily is constitutional, an initial sentencing proceeding following trial on the issue of guilt does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Petitioner also argues that the jury acquitted him of intentional murder when it failed to return a verdict on count one, and that the doctrine of collateral estoppel prohibited the Trial Court’s use of the intentional murder aggravating circumstance as a basis for imposition of the death penalty.

We hold that the petitioner has not met his burden of establishing the factual predicate for the application of the collateral estoppel doctrine, namely, that the jury found in his favor on the issue of intent.

An examination of the record shows that the Trial Court’s instructions on the issue of intent to kill were ambiguous and that it is unclear whether the jury believed it could return more than one verdict.

Therefore, the jury’s failure to return a verdict on count one does not show that it found the petitioner lacked an intent to kill.

Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion; Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice Blackmun has joined.