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Lockhart v. McCree

United States Supreme Court
476 U.S. 162 (1986)


Facts

McCree (defendant) was charged with capital felony murder. During voir dire, the trial court removed, over McCree’s objection, prospective jurors who stated that they were opposed to the death penalty and could not vote in favor of imposing it. McCree was convicted. The jury chose not to impose the death penalty and sentenced McCree to life in prison. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. McCree filed a petition for habeas corpus, claiming that the trial court’s removal of prospective jurors who opposed the death penalty violated his constitutional right to a trial by an impartial jury. The district court granted McCree’s petition. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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