O'Dell v. Thompson
Petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Virginia denied.
Statement of Justice BLACKMUN, with whom Justice STEVENS and Justice O'CONNOR join, respecting the denial of the petition for writ of certiorari.
This is a capital case. Since the present Term began on October 7, 1991, the Court has considered 102 capital petitions, each seeking review of a decision of a State's highest court. Even if practical considerations did not preclude review on the merits of all such petitions, another consideration often argues against granting certiorari: in many of these cases, a federal habeas proceeding is necessary to develop further the petitioner's claims, both factually and legally. This is one such case. Because I believe the evidence raises serious questions about whether petitioner was guilty of the charged crime or was capable of representing himself, I write to underscore the importance of affording petitioner meaningful federal habeas review.
Statement by Justice BLACKMUN respecting the denial of certiorari with whom Justice STEVENS and Justice O'CONNOR join.