Schiro v. Farley, 510 U.S. 222, 3 (1994)

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Opinion of the Court

on petitioner Thomas Schiro. For the reasons explained below, we hold that it does not.


Schiro was convicted and sentenced to death for murder. The body of Laura Luebbehusen was discovered in her home on the morning of February 5, 1981, by her roommate, Darlene Hooper, and Darlene Hooper's former husband. Darlene Hooper, who had been away, returned to find the home in disarray. Blood covered the walls and floor; Laura Luebbehusen's semiclad body was lying near the entrance. The police recovered from the scene a broken vodka bottle, a handle and metal portions of an iron, and bottles of various types of liquor.

The pathologist testified that there were a number of contusions on the body, including injuries to the head. The victim also had lacerations on one nipple and a thigh, and a tear in the vagina, all caused after death. A forensic dentist determined that the thigh injury was caused by a human bite. The cause of death was strangulation.

Laura Luebbehusen's car was later found near a halfway house where Schiro was living. Schiro told one counselor at the halfway house he wanted to discuss something "heavy." App. 53. Schiro later confessed to another counselor that he had committed the murder. After his arrest, he confessed to an inmate in the county jail that he had been drinking and taking Quaaludes the night of the killing, and that he had had intercourse with the victim both before and after killing her.

Schiro also admitted the killing to his girlfriend, Mary Lee. Schiro told Mary Lee that he gained access to Laura Luebbehusen's house by telling her his car had broken down. Once in the house, he exposed himself to her. She told him that she was a lesbian, that she had been raped as a child, that she had never otherwise had intercourse before and did not want to have sex. Nonetheless, Schiro raped her numerous times. There was evidence that Schiro forced her

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