Coleman v. Thompson, 504 U.S. 188 (1992) (per curiam)

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Per Curiam


on application for stay of execution of sentence of death

No. A-877 (91-8336). Decided May 20, 1992

In the 12th round of judicial review in a murder case which began 11 years ago, the District Court concluded that applicant Coleman had failed to produce even a "colorable claim of innocence."

Held: The application for a stay of execution is denied. There is no basis for this Court to conclude that Coleman has produced "substantial evidence" of innocence, especially where the District Court has reviewed the claim and rejected it on the merits.

Application denied.

Per Curiam.

As the District Court below observed, this is now the 12th round of judicial review in a murder case which began 11 years ago. Yet despite having had 11 years to produce exculpatory evidence, Coleman has produced what, in the words of the District Court, does not even amount to a "colorable showing of 'actual innocence.' " Civ. Action No. 92-0352-R (WD Va., May 12, 1992), p. 19. We are hardly well positioned to second-guess the District Court's factual conclusion—we certainly have no basis for concluding that Coleman has produced "substantial evidence that he may be innocent." Post, at 189 (emphasis added). Indeed, a good deal of Coleman's effort in this latest round is devoted to an attempt to undermine an expert's genetic analysis that further implicated him in the crime—an analysis conducted after trial at Coleman's request under the supervision of the Commonwealth's courts.

Contrary to the dissent's characterization, Coleman's claim is far from "substantially identical" to that of Leonel Herrera, see Herrera v. Collins, No. 91-7328, cert. granted, 502 U. S. 1085 (1992). In Herrera the District Court concluded that the evidence of innocence warranted further inquiry.

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