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Petition of the day

The petition of the day is:


Issue: (1) Whether it is error for a federal appellate court to undertake the same analysis for penalty phase prejudice in capital cases arising from both weighing states, where juries impose death sentences only after determining that aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating factors, and non-weighing states, where juries are instructed that they may return a sentence less than death for any reason or no reason at all, even after finding a statutory aggravator; and (2) whether the Eleventh Circuit violated the Eighth Amendment by improperly “weighing” aggravation against mitigation evidence in Mr. Bishop’s case rather than applying the non-weighing prejudice test consistent with Georgia’s capital sentencing statute articulated in Zant v. Stephens.

Recommended Citation: Maureen Johnston, Petition of the day, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 22, 2014, 10:14 PM),