Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Darden v. Wainwright

United States Supreme Court
 477 U.S. 168 (1986)


Facts

Darden was convicted of robbing a furniture store owned by a husband and wife. He killed the husband, shot a neighbor who tried to help the husband, and sexually assaulted the wife. At trial, the defense was allowed to present its closing argument first. The prosecutor then presented his closing which contained several improper and inflammatory comments. The defense was then allowed to rebut the prosecution’s closing. After Darden’s conviction, the jury recommended the death penalty which the judge then imposed. On appeal, Darden argued that the prosecution’s remarks during closing argument made his trial unfair and the resulting sentence unreliable. The court found that the prosecution’s comments had not made the trial unfair and affirmed Darden’s conviction and death sentence. The Supreme Court granted certiorari but later dismissed the writ. Darden again petitioned for habeas corpus but was denied. Darden filed an application for a stay of execution. The Supreme Court treated this as a petition for certiorari, granted certiorari, and stayed Darden’s execution.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.