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ALABAMA V. EVANS, 461 U. S. 230 (1983)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Alabama v. Evans, 461 U.S. 230 (1983)

Alabama v. Evans

No. A-858

Decided April 22, 1983

461 U.S. 230


After the Circuit Justice had denied respondent's application for a stay of execution of his death sentence, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Federal District Court, which temporarily stayed the execution. The Court of Appeals denied the State's motion to vacate the stay, and the State then filed with the Circuit Justice the instant application to vacate the District Court's stay. The application was referred to the Court.

Held: The application to vacate the District Court's stay is granted. Respondent's constitutional challenges to Alabama's capital sentencing procedures were reviewed exhaustively by several state and federal courts. There is no merit to respondent's new challenge that the trial court construed in an unconstitutionally broad manner the statutory aggravating factor of his having knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons. On the facts, there was no violation of the principle established in Godfrey v. Georgia, 446 U. S. 420, that aggravating factors must be construed and applied in a nonarbitrary manner. Nor is there any question that application of the aggravating factor involved here was proper under the Alabama statute as construed by the Alabama courts.

Application to vacate stay granted.

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