Ring v. Arizona
122 S Ct 2428 (2002)
Facts of the case:
On November 28, 1994, The body of an armored van driver was found dead inside the vehicle. Also, there was more than $800,000 missing from the van leading police to believe that this was a robbery and homicide case. There were no witnesses to the crime except a local bystander who stated that two vehicles, a van and a red truck were speeding down the road earlier that day and had neglected to stop at the intersection where there is a stop sign posted.
Based on a tip, police were able to locate the red pickup truck and it's owner, Timothy Ring. Police then listened to Timothy Ring's phone conversations and quickly learned that he was involved with both the robbery and shooting. In the following days, police obtained a warrant and conducted a search of Timothy Ring's home.
They discovered a rifle and a bag full of cash in the amount of $271,681. They also recovered a letter with $575,995 written on the inside. This amount, when added to the amount of cash recovered, added up to the same amount that had been stolen from the armored van.
A jury found Ring guilty of "murder occurring during an armed robbery". This decision was based on the evidence obtained by the police. In Arizona, this is a capital offence. The prosecution's case had no evidence that identified Ring as the "shooter". However, under Arizona law at that time, a judge alone was required to determine the presence or absence of aggravating factors for imposition of the death penalty.
During the sentencing phase, the judge heard testimony from one of Ring's accomplices who placed all the blame on Ring. He said that Ring had not only planned out the...