449 U.S. 905 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

HOLLOWAY v. FLORIDA , 449 U.S. 905 (1980)

449 U.S. 905

State of FLORIDA
No. 79-6512

Supreme Court of the United States

October 14, 1980

On petition for writ of certiorari to the District Court of Appeal of Florida for the Third District.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Justice BLACKMUN, with whom Justice BRENNAN and Justice MARSHALL join, dissenting.

The Court in this case denies certiorari to review what I believe is an important due process question requiring interpretation of our decisions in Keeble v. United States, 412 U.S. 205d 844 (1973), and Beck v. Alabama, 447 U.S. 625d 392 (1980).

Page 449 U.S. 905 , 906

The facts, taken from the state court-opinion and the undisputed allegations of the petition, may be summarized briefly. On November 7, 1972, a man was killed in Dade County, Fla. Five days later, petitioner voluntarily turned himself over to the Miami police in connection with the killing. After issuing Miranda warnings, the police took two separate statements from petitioner concerning the victim's death. Petitioner was then released. On November 29, he communicated with one of the police detectives and furnished a third statement.

About three and one-half years later, on June 23, 1976, petitioner and a codefendant were indicted for the capital felony of first-degree murder based on the 1972 killing. Following presentation of all the evidence, the trial court decided over petitioner's objection that it would not instruct the jury on the lesser included state offenses of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter, on the ground that the Florida statute of limitations had run on these lesser offenses. [Footnote 1] The jury was instructed solely as to first-degree murder. Petitioner was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

On appeal, the Florida District Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction. 362 So.2d 333 (1978). The appellate court concluded that a defendant has no state or federal constitutional right to have a court instruct on lesser offenses where "any conviction returned as to such offense would be a nullity." Id., at 335. After accepting jurisdiction and hearing argument, the Supreme Court of Florida, with one dissent, denied certiorari. 379 So.2d 953 (1980).

This Court's decision in Keeble v. United States, supra, casts doubt on the validity of the state court's analysis. In Keeble, the Court held that an Indian charged with a federal [449 U.S. 905 , 907]

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