HARDY v. GEORGIA
454 U.S. 1114 (1981)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

HARDY v. GEORGIA , 454 U.S. 1114 (1981)

454 U.S. 1114

Kenneth HARDY
v.
GEORGIA
No. 81-5478

Supreme Court of the United States

December 7, 1981

Rehearing Denied Jan. 25, 1982.

See 455 U.S. 929.

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

The petition for writ of certiorari is denied.

Justice BRENNAN, dissenting.

Adhering to my view that the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 227, 2950, 49 L. Ed.2d 859 (1976), I would grant certiorari and vacate the death sentence in this case.

Justice MARSHALL, dissenting.

Last Term, this Court granted petitioner's previous petition for certiorari, vacated the judgment of the Georgia Supreme Court affirming the death sentence, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of Godfrey v. Georgia, 446 U.S. 420 ( 1980). See 449 U.S. 988 (1980). On remand, without the benefit of full briefing and argument requested by petitioner, the State Supreme Court reaffirmed petitioner's death sentence. Adhering to my view that the death penalty is under all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment, I would grant the petition for certiorari in this case and vacate the judgment

Page 454 U.S. 1114 , 1115

below insofar as it leaves undisturbed the death sentence. Moreover, even assuming, arguendo, that there are circumstances in which the death penalty may be constitutionally imposed, I believe that the State Supreme Court ignored the mandate of this Court by reaffirming the death sentence in this case. Therefore, essentially for the reasons stated in my dissent from the denial of certiorari in Davis v. Georgia, Spraggins v. Georgia, and Brooks v. Georgia, 451 U.S. 921 (1981), I would grant the petition for certiorari and vacate the judgment below on this additional ground.

Petitioner in this case was sentenced to death after the jury found that the offense of murder was "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim" pursuant to Ga.Code 27-2534.1 (b)(7) (1978).* In Godfrey v. Georgia, supra, this Court recognized that this statutory language is so broad that it invites the jury to impose the death sentence in every murder case. InGodfrey, both the plurality opinion and the opinion concurring in the judgment explained that a State's capital punishment scheme "must channel thesentencer's discretion by 'clear and objective standards' that provide 'specific and detailed guidance,' and that 'make rationally reviewable the process for imposing a sentence of death.' " 446 U.S., at 428, 100 S.Ct. at 1764 (emphasis added) (citations omitted). See id., at 437, 100 S.Ct. at 1769 (MARSHALL, J., concurring in judgment). Under Georgia law, the jury is responsible for sentencing in death penalty cases. Because the Georgia [454 U.S. 1114 , 1116]


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