Bell v. Ohio
Significance, Ohio Sentences Bell To The Death Penalty, The High Court Strikes Down Ohio's Law
Willie Lee Bell
State of Ohio
That his conviction of aggravated murder, which resulted in a death sentence under the Ohio death penalty statute, violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution by preventing the sentencing judge from taking into account mitigating factors with regard to his character and intelligence.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
H. Fred Hoefle
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
Justices for the Court
Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White
William H. Rehnquist (William J. Brennan, Jr., did not participate)
Date of Decision
3 July 1978
That the Ohio death penalty statute does not allow for consideration of all possible mitigating factors in sentencing a defendant, as provided in the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution; therefore the Court ruled in favor of the appellant.
- Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972).
- Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586 (1978).
- Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
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