Laws v. Armontrout
See 490 U.S. 1117, 109 S.Ct. 3179.
On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Justice MARSHALL, with whom Justice BRENNAN joins, dissenting.
Adhering to my view that the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 231, 96 S.Ct. 2909, 2950, 49 L.Ed.2d 859 (1976) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting), I would grant the petition for certiorari and vacate the death sentence in this case.
Even if I did not hold this view, I would still grant the petition and vacate petitioner's death sentence, so that we might address petitioner's claim that he was denied effective assistance of counsel at the penalty phase of his trial. After an extended hearing, the District Court granted petitioner's writ of habeas corpus, ruling that petitioner had not received effective assistance of counsel, and a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed. The panel's judgment, however, was overturned by the Court of Appeals sitting en banc, over a strong dissenting opinion which three judges joined. 863 F.2d 1377, 1394 (1988) (McMillian, J., dissenting, joined by Lay, C.J., and Heaney and Arnold, JJ.).