Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584, 8 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 584 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

that "F" was Ferguson, "Y" was "Yoda" (Greenham's nickname), and "T" was Timothy Ring. Id., at 42 (Dec. 5, 1996).

Testifying in his own defense, Ring said the money seized at his house was startup capital for a construction company he and Greenham were planning to form. Id., at 10-11 (Dec. 3, 1996). Ring testified that he made his share of the money as a confidential informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a bail bondsman and gunsmith. Id., at 162, 166-167, 180 (Dec. 2, 1996). But an FBI agent testified that Ring had been paid only $458, id., at 47 (Nov. 20, 1996), and other evidence showed that Ring had made no more than $8,800 as a bail bondsman, id., at 48-51 (Nov. 21, 1996); id., at 21 (Nov. 25, 1996).

The trial judge instructed the jury on alternative charges of premeditated murder and felony murder. The jury deadlocked on premeditated murder, with 6 of 12 jurors voting to acquit, but convicted Ring of felony murder occurring in the course of armed robbery. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13- 1105(A) and (B) (West 2001) ("A person commits first degree murder if . . . [a]cting either alone or with one or more other persons the person commits or attempts to commit . . . [one of several enumerated felonies] . . . and in the course of and in furtherance of the offense or immediate flight from the offense, the person or another person causes the death of any person. . . . Homicide, as prescribed in [this provision] requires no specific mental state other than what is required for the commission of any of the enumerated felonies.").

As later summed up by the Arizona Supreme Court, "the evidence admitted at trial failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that [Ring] was a major participant in the armed robbery or that he actually murdered Magoch." 200 Ariz. 267, 280, 25 P. 3d 1139, 1152 (2001). Although clear evidence connected Ring to the robbery's proceeds, nothing submitted at trial put him at the scene of the robbery. See ibid. Furthermore, "[f]or all we know from the trial evidence," the Arizona court stated, "[Ring] did not participate in, plan, or even expect the killing. This lack of evidence no doubt ex-


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