Sullivan v. Wainwright
464 U.S. 109 (1983)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sullivan v. Wainwright, 464 U.S. 109 (1983)

Sullivan v. Wainwright

No. A-409

Decided November 29, 1983

464 U.S. 109


In 1973, applicant was convicted of murder in a Florida state court and sentenced to death. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed, and this Court denied certiorari. After exhausting state postconviction remedies, applicant filed a habeas corpus petition in Federal District Court, which denied the writ. The Court of Appeals affirmed, and this Court denied certiorari. After another petition for postconviction relief in state court was denied in 1983 and affirmed on appeal, applicant filed a second habeas corpus petition in Federal District Court, which again declined to issue the writ, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Applicant then filed the instant application for a stay of execution with the Circuit Justice, who referred it to the Court. Applicant raises five claims: (1) denial of the right to counsel; (2) denial of the effective assistance of counsel; (3) the jury that convicted him was biased in the prosecution's favor; (4) denial of proportionality review; and (5) the Florida death penalty statute has been applied discriminatorily against blacks.

Held: The application for a stay of execution is denied. The first three claims raised by applicant were presented several times previously in both the state and federal courts, and have been found to be meritless. The fourth claim was found meritless by the Florida Supreme Court, and that ruling will not be disturbed. The fifth claim, first raised in applicant's most recent state habeas corpus petition, was based on data that were available long before that time and that the Florida Supreme Court and both federal courts below have determined to be insufficient to show that the Florida system is unconstitutionally discriminatory.

Application for stay denied.

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