From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
California v. Ramos
United States Supreme Court
463 U.S. 992, 103 S. Ct. 3446, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1171 (1983)
Marcelino Ramos (defendant) shot two coworkers, killing one, during the course of a robbery. At trial, a jury found Ramos guilty of robbery, attempted murder, and first-degree murder. During the penalty phase of the trial, Ramos offered a great deal of mitigation evidence. The court instructed the jury on aggravating and mitigating circumstances and the fact that the governor of California may commute a life sentence without the possibility of parole to a sentence that includes the possibility of parole (the Briggs Instruction). Ramos was sentenced to death. The California Supreme Court affirmed Ramos’s conviction but reversed the death sentence. The California Supreme Court held that the Briggs Instruction was unconstitutional because it added a speculative element to the jury’s determination and it failed to inform the jury that the governor could commute a death sentence. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 618,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.