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Respondent was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death under Arizona's capital sentencing scheme then in effect, which authorized the trial judge, rather than the jury, to determine the presence of aggravating circumstances that make the defendant eligible for the death sentence. The State Supreme Court affirmed on direct review. While respondent's subsequent federal habeas case was pending in the Ninth Circuit, this Court decided that Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U. S. 466, 490, required the existence of an aggravating factor to be proved to a jury rather than a judge under Arizona's scheme. Ring v. Arizona, 536 U. S. 584, 603-609. The Ninth Circuit invalidated respondent's death sentence, rejecting the argument that Ring did not apply because respondent's conviction and sentence had become final on direct review before Ring was decided.

Held: Ring does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review. Pp. 3-10.


Full Text of Opinion





SCHRIRO, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS v. SUMMERLIN, 542 U.S. 348

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SCHRIRO, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS v. SUMMERLIN

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 03-526. Argued April 19, 2004--Decided June 24, 2004

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