Abdul-Kabir v. Quarterman

Supreme Court of the United States

550 U.S. 233 (2007)

April 25, 2007

A Texas jury instruction requiring jurors to answer "yes-or-no" to mitigating evidence in consideration of imposing the death penalty is insufficient to give full consideration and effect to such evidence as required by the Eighth Amendment.

Relevant Facts

The defendant, Abdul-Kabir, was sentenced to death on a murder conviction. During sentencing, the defendant presented mitigating evidence of his family background and neurological defects. The judge instructed the jury to give effect to all mitigating evidence by making a “yes-or-no” determination on Texas’s two “special issues” for capital sentencing: (1) the deliberateness of the crime and (2) the future dangerousness of the criminal. Once sentenced, the defendant filed a petition for habeas corpus in District Court, arguing that the special issues did not allow the jury to give full consideration and effect to his mitigating evidence was required by the Supreme Court in Penry v. Johnson.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

November 30, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

550 U.S. 233 (2007)