Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584, 11 (2002)

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Opinion of the Court

Ring upbraided him and Ferguson for "forgetting to congratulate [Ring] on [his] shot." Id., at 60.

On cross-examination, Greenham acknowledged having previously told Ring's counsel that Ring had nothing to do with the planning or execution of the robbery. Id., at 85-87. Greenham explained that he had made that prior statement only because Ring had threatened his life. Id., at 87. Greenham also acknowledged that he was now testifying against Ring as "pay back" for the threats and for Ring's interference in Greenham's relationship with Greenham's ex-wife. Id., at 90-92.

On October 29, 1997, the trial judge entered his "Special Verdict" sentencing Ring to death. Because Ring was convicted of felony murder, not premeditated murder, the judge recognized that Ring was eligible for the death penalty only if he was Magoch's actual killer or if he was "a major participant in the armed robbery that led to the killing and exhibited a reckless disregard or indifference for human life." App. to Pet. for Cert. 46a-47a; see Enmund v. Florida, 458 U. S. 782 (1982) (Eighth Amendment requires finding that felony-murder defendant killed or attempted to kill); Tison v. Arizona, 481 U. S. 137, 158 (1987) (qualifying Enmund, and holding that Eighth Amendment permits execution of felony-murder defendant, who did not kill or attempt to kill, but who was a "major participa[nt] in the felony committed" and who demonstrated "reckless indifference to human life").

Citing Greenham's testimony at the sentencing hearing, the judge concluded that Ring "is the one who shot and killed Mr. Magoch." App. to Pet. for Cert. 47a. The judge also found that Ring was a major participant in the robbery and that armed robbery "is unquestionably a crime which carries with it a grave risk of death." Ibid.

The judge then turned to the determination of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. See 13-703. He found two aggravating factors. First, the judge determined that Ring committed the offense in expectation of receiving something

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