In 1980, Bruce Callins (defendant) shot and killed a patron at a bar during an armed robbery. Callins was tried in Texas state court on charges including capital murder. The jury convicted Callins and sentenced him to death. Callins's capital-murder conviction and death sentence were upheld on direct appeal. After unsuccessfully seeking post-conviction relief in state court, Callins filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and request for stay of execution in federal district court. The district court dismissed Callins's habeas petition, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. Callins filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
[Editor's Note: These facts and procedural history are taken from Callins v. Collins, 998 F.2d 269 (5th Cir. 1993).]