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Murray v. Giarratano
United States Supreme Court
492 U.S. 1, 109 S. Ct. 2765, 106 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1989)
Joseph Giarratano (plaintiff) filed a pro se complaint in federal district court against Virginia state officials including the director of the Virginia Department of Corrections, Edward Murray (defendants). Later, the district court certified a class of plaintiffs made up of all current and future indigent Virginia death-row inmates who were seeking or might seek postconviction relief. The district court found that Virginia’s provision of access to the prison law library and lawbooks was inadequate. The court of appeals panel reversed the district court judgment. The court of appeals reheard the case en banc and affirmed the district court based on special considerations related to death-row inmates, reasoning that Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987), did not control the case. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)
Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
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