Hegelian Dialectic

Chief Editors note:

The following article is from The Daily Bell. If you click the link you will find it is no longer there.  It is an important article and is a technique used by the Council on Foreign Relations to shape the mind of the herd. CFR founding father Walter Lippmann and his sidekick Edward Bernays, the fathers of propaganda, used it well.

The Daily Bell At (TCP)CHICAGO

 

Hegelian Dialectic

The Hegelian Dialectic is a philosophical approach that in principle explains how human beings progress toward a better and more egalitarian condition but in practice provides the power elite with a strategy for controlling society.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was among the most consequential philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. His was heavily influenced by Plato, whose social ideal was rule by an elite composed of philosopher-kings. Though Hegel may not have intended to provide a Platonic methodology for the modern-day control of the many by the few, that is how his insights have been used.

The Platonic influence on Hegel was reinforced by the age in which he worked. Hegel accepted that “enlightened” human beings are responsible for their own destiny, and that culture and history are a product of human development, which in turn is driven by reason. Hegel subscribed to the Rousseauian notion that humans are a blank slate, a tabula rasa. In fact, Hegel was a big fan of the French, in cluding the authoritarian leader Napoleon and the French Revolution itself, a bloodbath he described as the realization of more perfect freedom.

Today most behavioral scientists see human beings not as purely rational or perfectly elastic but as complex creatures many of whose behaviors are instinctual or biologically programmed. This has not hindered the practical application of Hegel’s conceptual tools, however, which have been used as an effective methodology of control for at least the past century.

It is necessary to examine the dialectic in a little more detail to understand this. Hegel postulated that each stage of human advance – and the course of history itself – was driven by an argument (thesis), a counterargument (anti-thesis) and finally a synthesis of the two into a more advanced argument – at which point the process restarted. For Hegel, the dialectic could explain everything – art, culture, history, even nature.

From our more modern vantage point, Hegel’s dialectic may not seem so persuasive as an explanation of all things – and in fact, it probably is not. But for the elite of his day, and for the monetary elite today, the Hegelian dialectic provides tools for the manipulation of society.

To move the public from point A to point B, one need only find a spokesperson for a certain argument and position him or her as an authority. That person represents Goalpost One. Another spokesperson is positioned on the other side of the argument, to represent Goalpost Two.

Argument A and B can then be used to manipulate a given social discussion. If one wishes, for instance, to promote Idea C, one merely needs to promote the arguments of Goalpost One (that tend to promote Idea C) more effectively than the arguments of Goalpost Two. This forces a slippage of Goalpost Two’s position. Thus both Goalpost One and Goalpost Two advance downfield toward Idea C. Eventually, Goalpost Two occupies Goalpost One’s original position. The “anti-C” argument now occupies the pro-C position. In this manner whole social conversations are shifted from, say, a debate over market freedom vs. socialism to a debate about the degree of socialism that is desirable.

The Hegelian dialectic is a powerful technique for influencing the conversations of cultures and nations, especially if one already controls (owns) much of the important media in which the arguments take place. One can then, as the monetary elite characteristically do, emphasize one argument at the expense of the other, effectively shifting the positions of Goalposts One and Two.

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CFR

Left Hook by Dean Henderson

1989 Hawaii (11)(Excerpted from Chapter 3: The House of Saud & JP Morgan: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf…)

Bechtel insider George Pratt Schultz is also the current director at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a powerful US foreign policy think tank whose geopolitical imperatives are more often than not adopted by the US State Department.

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How the Council on Foreign Relations Took Over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

CFR’s Newt Gingrich, Thomas Donohue CFR corporate member U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Author and investigative reporter Mark Dowie published an article in the Washington  Spectator titled Corporate Lobby: The Third Chamber. Dowie’s story is about the transformation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce into a corporate lobbying group who use their powerful government connections and large corporate donations to influence elections and buy the passage or defeat of legislation. He explains how Newt Gingrich was the architect of the new U.S. Chamber of Commerce and made Thomas Donohue its new leader. What Dowie failed to investigate was the Council on Foreign Relations connection. Gingrich and Donohue are Council on Foreign Relations members. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a Council on Foreign Relations Member Corporation. Many other influential CFR members worked behind the scenes in government and industry to pull off the transformation. The real story is that the Council on Foreign Relations has taken over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is using it to further the interest of member corporations, destroy the sovereignty of the United States and help achieve its goal of global governance.

Corporate Lobby: The Third Chamber

by Mark Dowie

Why do we criticize people for doing  what they’re hired to do? Take [Council on Foreign Relations member] Thomas J. Donohue, for example. Day after day the poor guy gets pummeled by Washing ton non-profits and mainstream media for doing his job. He’s out there challenging health care reform; suing the SEC to stifle the regulation of financial markets; lobbying Congress to reduce punitive damages in product liability litigation; attempting to gut the Foreign Corrupt Practices and False Claims Acts; undermining carbon pollution standards; questioning the causes of climate change; opposing a federal minimum wage; defending high-salt processed foods; attacking “net metering” of solar energy panels; interfering in the election of state supreme court justices; shilling for American tobacco overseas; opposing environmental legislation; fighting paid maternity  leave; persuading -American businesses to fight campaign-finance disclosure: opposing net neutrality; defending high pharmaceutical prices; and laundering large “anonymous” donations from the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super Pac.

Why, should [Council on Foreign Relations member]  Donohue be rebuked for this very abbreviated list if those tasks were handed to him in 1997, when he began serving as CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce [a Council on Foreign Relations corporate member], whose core mission was then, and still is, “to advance human progress through an economic, political, and social system based on individual freedom. incentive, initiative, opportunity and responsibility-“?

This would be a fair question were [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue committed to that mission and doing what he does for all American enterprise, or even for the 150 members of the U.S. Chamber Board of Directors, or the 3 million small businesses, 7,ooo state and local chambers, and 116 overseas American chambers he daims to represent in 103 countries.

But he’s not. He is, in fact, doing the bidding of a few national politicians and their mostly anonymous corporate sponsors who believed in 1996, and evidently still do, that a pragmatic, staid national chamber, founded to be “in touch with business  associations and chambers of commerce throughout the country'” was wasting its time and treasure.

A truly valuable trade association, according to this small group of Republican politicians and their corporate sponsors, could transform itself from a high-minded affinity group (described by a tobacco executive as a “weak sister”) into a fighting force for a few troubled American industries and products-tobacco for one, but also banking, health insurance, pharmaceuticals, firearms. coal. and other fossil fuels. All were threatened by progressive idealists and the excesses of federal regulation, according to a warning from corporate lawyer Lewis Powell. It is time, members of this corporate cabal argued, for “capitalists to carry the banner” of what Powell described as “confrontation politics” and “not to hesitate to attack liberals and push politicians for the support of the free enterprise system.”

Powell made his argument in a “confidential” memorandum written in 1971 at the invitation of his friend Eugene B. Sydnor Jr., chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Education Committee. Powell, a former American Bar Association president, champion of winner-take-all capitalism, and a member of 11 corporate boards, warned that American business was “under broad attack” from political and social interests and organizations that wanted to institutionalize “socialism or some form of statism.” “We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few, extremists or even from the minority of socialist cadre,” Powell wrote. “Rather the assault on the enterprise system is broadly .based and consistently, pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.” The enemies of -American enterprise he descried included,  “not unexpectedly’ the Communists. New Leftists, and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system  both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history”

Here was a memo from a man who had sought to keep the government from regulating cigarettes Iong after it was known that they’ were killing countless Americans and who one year later would be elevated to the Supreme Court. Powell was whining at full volume.

“Few elements of American society today- have as little influence in government as the American businessman, the corporation, or even the millions of corporate stockholders. .. Business must learn the lesson, Iong ago learned by ‘labor and other self- interest groups, that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously [sic] cultivated; and that when necessary it must be used aggressively and with determination.” To silence the “disquieting voices” the national chamber “would require far more generous support from American corporations than it has ever received in the past.” The memo was leaked to investigative columnist Jack Anderson and widely circulated.

The pro-corporate movement it spawned would a few years later elevate men like [Council on Foreign Relations member] Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay,  Dick Armey, and John Boehner to national prominence. Powell’s thinking would ultimately inspire like [Council on Foreign Relations member] Gingrich and his allies to transform the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Richard Lesher was a bright, conservative Pennsylvania gentleman who had been running the chamber for 22 years, when in 1994 he decided to support the [CFR member run] Clinton administration’s health care package. Like [Council on Foreign Relations member]Gingrich, Armey, and DeLay let the Chamber board know that Lesher had to go.

By 1997, [Council on Foreign Relations member]Gingrich had consolidated his power as Speaker of the House, and identified a replacement for Lesher, like [Council on Foreign Relations member]Tom Donohue, a take-no-prisoners Lobbyist for the trucking industry. The chamber, he told like [Council on Foreign Relations member] Gingrich and The Wall Street Journal, was a “sleeping giant, missing in in action from many important political battles.”

The deal was sealed over a three-hour dinner during which [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue expressed his opinions on tort reform, workers’ rights, businesses’  bottom lines, and financial regulation.

[Council on Foreign Member] Donohue turned out to be a near-perfect choice.  Not only has he quadrupled the chamber’s annual budget by scaring billions of dollars out of the corporations Powell said should be funding the counter-revolution. he has transformed the organization into the largest business lobby in Washington given the tobacco industry a global reprieve, offered wall  Street protection from Elizabeth Warren. Provided Big Pharma some hope for its future. And he can be credited with creating and maintaining a Republican majority-in both the House and Senate.

Biggest gorilla in town

“My goal is simple-to build the biggest gorilla in this town-the most aggressive and rigorous business advocate our nation has ever seen,” [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue wrote to Roy Mardin. the Philip Morris exec who had described the chamber as a weak sister. He then promised Marden to eliminate punitive damages in lawsuits against tobacco companies, who by then, it was clear, were killing and debilitating millions of people around the world.

“If there’s one thing I know, how to do it’s to provide great value to those who really step up to the plate…By agreeing to be a strong supporter, you will always be heard here and always have a voice,” he wrote to Marden . A check for $180,000 from Philip Morris arrived on [Council on Foreign Relations member]   Donohue’s desk a few days later, $100,000 of which immediately paid for TV ads opposing a bill Senator [Council on Foreign Relations member]  John McCain had introduced to increase cigarette taxes to pay for an anti-smoking program for children,

The new chamber president also threatened to “make life miserable” for politicians he didn’t like and promised anonymous deniability to America’s most embarrassing industries.

The chamber’s culture changed overnight, reflecting [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donahue’s announcement that he planned “to build a grass-roots business organization so strong that when it bites you in the butt, you bleed.” In less than two decades, with a chauffeured Lincoln, a private jet, and a $5.5 million annual pay, package, [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue became the nation’s most generously compensated American lobbyist.

[Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue started by, expanding his lobbying team from two to 10. Today the chamber boasts 150 registered lobbyists, 87 of them in-house. It spends more on lobbying Congress ($124 million in 2014) than the next four organizations combined, and provides more election campaign support than either of the political parties, almost all of it for Republican candidates, who receive carefully laundered money from donors seeking the political cover a restructured chamber offers them.

Most of the money [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue raises is kept dark and its donors anonymous. “I want to give them all the deniability they need,” he declared as he began telling his donors that “people seem to listen to you more when you’ve got a bagful of cash.” It was an appealing pitch to businesses and industries with questionable conduct to hide. Yet with public anonymity comes private disclosure. Recipients of dark money must eventually be told who their donors are so they will know whom to reward with anti- regulatory law, policy, and other favors. Not long after [Council on Foreign Relations member]  Donohue placed a “show me the money” sign on his desk, he quadrupled the chamber’s annual budget from under $50 million to more than $200 million. He soon became the nation’s largest political campaign contributor, created an entirely new internal legal  subsidiary- and expanded another. He formed the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR)  to fight the power of trial lawyers’. The U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, an in-house, non-profit law firm, files more than 100 suits a year against federal regulatory agencies, mostly the EPA, SEC, and the Departments of Labor (including OSHA), Transportation, and Interior, whose regulations are perceived by [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue and his clients to stifle profit.

But his major accomplishment has been the recruitment of reliable, super-generous corporations. In 1997, only a quarter of Fortune 1,000 companies were members, and most of them paid paltry annual dues. Today almost all 1000 are members, and many of them part with very generous sums. Yet only a handful of donors provide the lion’s share of the chamber’s strategic assault funds. In 209 for example, 16 companies provided  55 percent of the chamber’s total budget, most of it targeting the Affordable Care Act.

Health insurers like Aetna, [CFR corporate member] Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, United- Health Group, and Wellpoint, stood to lose billions if the law passed.  A retrospective examination of their charitable contributions showed, they secretly handed the chamber a stunning $86.2 million in August 2009. Aetna alone ponied up more than $7 million. That money accounted for 40 percent of the chambers  $214.6 million expenditures in 2009. These companies are capable of producing their own ads and PR. But they use the chamber as a convenient and compliant front group.

Of the 1523 donations made to the U.S. Chamber in 2012, more than 95 percent were small and inconsequential. But that year more than half the chamber income came from 64 anonymous donors giving $121 million. To its campaign to rewrite the nation’s financial regulations.  Prudential contributed $2 million. [CFR corporate member] Goldman Sachs followed suit with an undisclosed eight-figure donation. When the chamber promised to attack tighter security requirements at chemical plants, Dow contributed $1.7 million. Another donor, to this day anonymous, gave more than $15 million. Donations of that size are not membership dues, they’re protection money.

The chamber claims to represent the “interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.” Although that may be accurate, the claim is often made to sound as if three million firms are dues-paying members. While the chamber will not reveal membership numbers, or identities, it has admitted in the past to having fewer than 300,000 dues-paying members, many of them loosely affiliated through membership in state and local chambers that pay dues to the national organization.

[Council on Foreign Relations member] Donahue values his alleged small-firm members because some in Congress are more likely to listen to them than to big business. They’re real people rather than “corporate personhood” fictions that possess free speech and the right to make  unlimited contributions but can’t vote. Moreover, they “provide the foot soldiers, and often the political cover, for issues big companies want pursued,” [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue explains.

A bagful of cash

But it’s the money that provides the leverage. By 2010 the chamber was raising five times what it was before [Council on Foreign Relations member]Donohue arrived, almost  $250 million in contributions and grants. Most of the new money has been spent on lobbying, electoral campaigns. and fighting trial lawyers through the ILR, which also contributes dark money to campaigns, mostly to candidates opposing state supreme court justices with an affection for punitive damages against corporate defendants.

While one might expect that amount of money to produce consistently impressive election results, some cycles are better than others. The 2010 elections did bring a Republican majority to the House, thanks largely to chamber support of Tea Party candidates.

The 2012 election didn’t tum out too well for the chamber, which spent nearly $24 million to defeat several high-profile Democrats in Senate races, including Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio, former governor Timothy Kaine in Virginia, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, all of whom are still in office. Of 15 Senate races to which the chamber contributed that year, only two event its way. The results were not much better in the House, where $7 million was pumped into 22 races and only four of [Council on Foreign Relations member] Donohue chosen candidates won.

Chamber spending in 2014, was again aimed at electing Republicans, with, for example, $5,697,144 invested in Thom Tillis’s successful campaign against Democratic Senator Kay Hagan and $3,701,491 to defeat progressive Democratic Senator   Mark Udall in Colorado.

[Council on Foreign Relations member]Donohue promises to commit $100 million to candidates in  2016. He rarely spends as much as he promises, but even half that amount, strategically spent, could keep both houses of Congress in his camp. Three million has already gone to replace retiring Senator Harry Reid in Nevada, and $10 million to support Senators Rob Portman (R_Ohio), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H), and Pat Toomey, R-Penn. r.

Eroding Support

In 2005, the Council of State Chambers of Commerce commissioned Republican consultant Frank Luntz’s firm [ Luntz is a CFR pollster exposed by Penn and Teller  in 1996 CFR member Grover Norquist and Luntz debated Christopher Hitchens ] to poll 1000 local, state, and national senior corporate executives who are current or prospective chamber members. The survey revealed that chamber members nationwide  overwhelmingly support progressive social and business policies the U.S. Chamber is fighting.

For example, 8o percent of current or prospective members support raising their state’s minimum wage; 73 percent support paid sick- days; 72 percent support increased maternity leave time; and 82 percent support increased paternity-leave time.

In response, Luntz’s firm prepared a web seminar hosted by the Council of State Chambers in February of this year, providing “a few helpful hints on how to combat these reforms in your states.” Several local chambers had already left the national  organization. Luntz’s insulting response to his own survey will , almost  certainly lead to the exodus of others. And corporations I could follow  Apple, Mohawk Paper, Pacific Gas and Electric,  Exelon, and PNM Resources, who pulled out last fall, citing the chamber pro-fossil-fuel climate policy as their reason for leaving.  CVS Health Corporation, with its 7,800 retail drug stores, followed, revolted by the chamber’s overseas promotion, for another hazardous product, tobacco.

More recently, the staffs of about half a dozen U.S. Senators who were curious about the chamber selecting targets and taking positions contrary to the interests of many of its members, in particular regarding tobacco, surveyed the 108 corporations with executive representatives on the U.S. chamber Board of Directors. The Senate investigators found that approximately, half the corporate board members have anti-tobacco and/or pro-climate positions. And not one of their CEOs explicitly supported the chamber’s lobbying actions on tobacco or climate change.

If the chamber board and funders don’t mind the slow but steady exodus of state and local chambers, and the departure of some of the most distinguished corporations in American business, they will keep their consummate Washington fixer at the helm. Yet only a handful the nation’s business and political Ieaders brought [Council on Foreign Relations member]Tom Donohue to Washington. What can be done can be undone.

Mark Dowie is an author and investigative reporter. This article appeared in the Washington Spectator but couldn’t be found on-line at the time I updated it to expose the CFR role in the Chamber of Commerce takeover. (http://washingtonspectator.org)

 

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Adam Werritty: Liam Fox’s friend ‘bankrolled by corporate intelligence firm and Israel lobbyist’….

18 CIA directors are Council on Foreign Relations 18 NSA directors are CFR – Booze Allen is owned by CFR run Carlyle corporation. Edward Snowden worked for Booze Allen. If you use the CFR membership list ( http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html ) to look up the people in this article you will find that most of the Americans are CFR members. https://tomjefferson1976.wordpress.com/?s=snowden https://tomjefferson1976.wordpress.com/?s=carlyle

Centurean2\'s Weblog

Adam Werritty: Liam Fox’s friend ‘bankrolled by corporate intelligence firm and Israel lobbyist’
Adam Werritty, the Defence Secretary’s unofficial “adviser”, was funded by a corporate intelligence company and the chairman of an Israeli lobbying organisation, documents have disclosed….

http://www.wirralonline.com/news/item/adam-werritty-liam-foxs-friend-bankrolled-by-corporate-intelligence-firm-and-israel-lobbyist

http://hotterthanapileofcurry.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/liam-fox-adam-werrity-but-no-mention-of-luke-coffey-cia-agent-with-access-all-areas-pass-at-the-mod/

Liam Fox & Adam Werritty, but no mention of Luke Coffey, CIA agent with access all areas pass at the MOD

The big story is of Liam Fox & his special relationship with Adam Werritty, homo-honeytraps aside, the real story here is of another one of Fox’s special advisors Luke Coffey that is going unreported.

Liam “I’m not a homo” Fox hired an American, Luke Coffey to work in the Defence Department as a special advisor.

On 6 June 2010, The Sunday Times reported that Liam Fox, the UK Defence Minister lets a US ‘mole’ roam the Ministry of Defence

According to the Sunday Times in June 2010:

UK Defence…

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Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions   In October of 2015, Kansas v Carr,  a case involving a particularly heinous crime cam…

Source: Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

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Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

 

In October of 2015, Kansas v Carr,  a case involving a particularly heinous crime came up before the supreme court. The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences passed down by a Kansas jury. The reason was the trial violated the Eighth Amendment Rights of the Constitution of the United States. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer and Alito. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion.

 

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Scalia Opinion of Court:

The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences of Sidney Gleason and brothers Reginald and Jona – than Carr. Gleason killed one of his co-conspirators and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man. The Carrs’ notorious Wichita crime spree culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnapping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women. We first consider whether the Constitution required the sentencing courts to instruct the juries that mitigating circumstances “need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” And second, 2 KANSAS  v. CARR  Opinion of the Court  whether the Constitution required severance of the Carrs’  joint sentencing proceedings.  It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment,”  Romano , supra , at 13–14.

Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that the supposedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair. It is beyond reason to think that the jury’s death verdicts were caused by the identification of Reginald as the “corrupter” or of Jonathan as the “corrupted,” the jury’s viewing of Reginald’s handcuffs, or the sister’s re-tracted statement that Reginald fired the final shots.  None of that mattered. What these defendants did—acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity—was described in excruciating detail by Holly, who relived with the jury, for two days, the Wichita Massacre. The joint sentencing proceedings did not render the sentencing proceedings fundamentally unfair.

 

Sotomayor’s dissent :

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I respectfully dissent because I do not believe these cases should ever have been reviewed by the Supreme Court. I see no reason to intervene in cases like these—  and plenty of reasons not to. Kansas has not violated any federal constitutional right. If anything, the State has overprotected its citizens based on its interpretation of state and federal law. For reasons ably articulated by my predecessors and colleagues and because I worry that cases like these prevent States from serving as necessary laboratories for experimenting with how best to guarantee defendants a fair trial, I would dismiss the writs as improvidently granted… 

The cases here demonstrate yet another cost of granting certiorari to correct a state court’s overprotection of federal rights: In explaining that the Federal Constitution does not protect some particular right, it is natural to buttress the conclusion by explaining why that right is not very important. In so doing, the Court risks discouraging States from adopting valuable procedural protections even as a matter of their own state law. [formatting mine]

 

Sotomayor is wrong. This explanation is essential and affords the needed protection of states rights. In Roe v. Wade (abortion) the states’ rights of protecting the unborn are being discouraged yet there is no adequate explanation of how the life of an unborn child is not protected by the constitution. In Obergefell et al v. Hodges, Director, Ohio (homosexual marriage) there is no explanation of why  the Constitution requires the practice of homosexual marriage, which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens and legitimizes and encourages the practice of sodomy despite the fact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention  has found  that the homosexual subculture is less than 2% of the population yet accounts for 72% of the HIV cases.

States should keep passing laws that challenge both Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges as violating the Constitution demanding why protecting the right of the Unborn Child and Traditional Marriage are not guaranteed by the Constitution. The decisions do not explain how these rights can be over-ridden by the two decisions.

 

 

 

(Slip Opinion)   OCTOBER TERM, 2015        1

 

Syllabus

NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

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KANSAS v. CARR

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF KANSAS  

No. 14–449. Argued October 7, 2015—Decided January 20, 2016*

A Kansas jury sentenced respondent Sidney Gleason to death for killing a co-conspirator and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man.

  A Kansas jury sentenced respondents Reginald and Jonathan Carr, brothers, to death after a joint sentencing proceeding.  Respondents were convicted of various charges stemming from a notorious crime spree that culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnaping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women.   

  The Kansas Supreme Court vacated the death sentences in each case, holding that the sentencing instructions violated the Eighth Amendment by failing “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need only be proved to the satisfaction of the individual juror in that juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reasonable doubt.”  It also held that the Carrs’ Eighth Amendment right “to an individualized capital sentencing determination” was violated by the trial court’s failure to sever their sentencing proceedings.

Held:

 1. The Eighth Amendment does not require capital-sentencing courts to instruct a jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  Pp. 8–13.

  (a) Because the Kansas Supreme Court left no doubt that its ruling was based on the Federal Constitution, Gleason’s initial argument—that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear his case because the state court’s decision rested on adequate and independent state-law grounds—is rejected.  See Kansas v. Marsh, 548 U. S. 163, 169.  Pp. 8–9.

——————

*Together with No. 14–450, Kansas v. Carr, and No. 14–452, Kansas

v. Gleason, also on certiorari to the same court.

2                      KANSAS v. CARR

           

Syllabus

  (b) This Court’s capital-sentencing case law does not support requiring a court to instruct a jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See, e.g., Buchanan v. Angelone, 522 U. S. 269, 275. Nor was such an instruction constitution- ally necessary in these particular cases to avoid confusion.  Ambiguity in capital-sentencing instructions gives rise to constitutional error only if “there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents the consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence,” Boyde v. California, 494 U. S. 370, 380, a bar not cleared here.  Even assuming that it would be unconstitutional to require the defense to prove mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, the record belies the defendants’ contention that the instructions caused jurors to apply such a standard of proof here. The instructions make clear that both the existence of aggravating circumstances and the conclusion that they outweigh mitigating circumstances must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but that mitigating circumstances must merely be “found to exist,” which does not suggest proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  No juror would have reasonably speculated that “beyond a reasonable doubt” was the correct burden for mitigating circumstances.  Pp. 9–13.

 2. The Constitution did not require severance of the Carrs’ joint sentencing proceedings. The Eighth Amendment is inapposite when a defendant’s claim is, at bottom, that evidence was improperly admitted at a capital-sentencing proceeding.  The question is whether the allegedly improper evidence “so infected the sentencing proceeding with unfairness as to render the jury’s imposition of the death penalty a denial of due process.” Romano v. Oklahoma, 512 U. S. 1, 12. In light of all the evidence presented at the guilt and penalty phases relevant to the jury’s sentencing determination, the contention that the admission of mitigating evidence by one Carr brother could have “so infected” the jury’s consideration of the other’s sentence as to amount to a denial of due process is beyond the pale.  The Court presumes that the jury followed its instructions to “give separate consideration to each defendant.” Bruton v. United States, 391 U. S. 123, distinguished.  Joint proceedings are permissible and often preferable when the joined defendants’ criminal conduct arises out of a single chain of events. Buchanan v. Kentucky, 483 U. S. 402, 418.  Limiting instructions, like those given in the Carrs’ proceeding, “often will suffice to cure any risk of prejudice,” Zafiro v. United States, 506 U. S. 534, 539, that might arise from codefendants’ “antagonistic” mitigation theories, id., at 538. It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment.” Romano, supra, at 13–14.  Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that any sup          Cite as: 577 U. S. ____ (2016)       3

 

Syllabus

posedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair when their acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity were described in excruciating detail by the sole survivor, who, for two days, relived the Wichita Massacre with the jury.  Pp. 13–17.

No. 14–449, 300 Kan. 340, 329 P. 3d 1195; No. 14–450, 300 Kan. 1, 331 P. 3d 544; and No. 14–452, 299 Kan. 1127, 329 P. 3d 1102, reversed and remanded.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,

C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, G INSBURG, BREYER, ALITO, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SOTOMAYOR, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

 


NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

_________________

Nos. 14–449, 14–450, and 14–452

_________________

14–449

 

14–450

 

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

JONATHAN D. CARR

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

REGINALD DEXTER CARR, JR.

KANSAS, PETITIONER

14–452

v.

SIDNEY J. GLEASON

 

ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF  KANSAS

[January 20, 2016]  

JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court.

 The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences of Sidney Gleason and brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr.  Gleason killed one of his co-conspirators and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man.  The Carrs’ notorious Wichita crime spree culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnaping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women.  We first consider whether the Constitution required the sentencing courts to instruct the juries that mitigating circumstances “need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”  And second, whether the Constitution required severance of the Carrs’ joint sentencing proceedings.

I  

A  

 Less than one month after Sidney Gleason was paroled from his sentence for attempted voluntary manslaughter, he joined a conspiracy to rob an elderly man at knifepoint.[1]  Gleason and a companion “cut up” the elderly man to get $10 to $35 and a box of cigarettes. 299 Kan. 1127, 1136, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1115 (2014).  Fearing that their female co-conspirators would snitch, Gleason and his cousin, Damien Thompson, set out to kill co-conspirator Mikiala Martinez. Gleason shot and killed Martinez’s boyfriend, and then Gleason and Thompson drove Martinez to a rural location, where Thompson strangled her for five minutes and then shot her in the chest, Gleason standing by and providing the gun for the final shot.

 The State ultimately charged Gleason with capital murder for killing Martinez and her boyfriend, first-degree premeditated murder of the boyfriend, aggravating kidnaping of Martinez, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery of the elderly man, and criminal possession of a firearm.  He was convicted on all counts except the attempted first-degree murder charge.  Id., at 1134– 1135, 1146, 329 P. 3d, at 1114, 1120.  The jury also found that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of four aggravating circumstances and unanimously agreed to a sentence of death.  Id., at 1146–1147, 329 P. 3d, at 1120–1121.

B

 In December 2000, brothers Reginald and Jonathan

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Carr set out on a crime spree culminating in the Wichita Massacre.[2] On the night of December 7, Reginald Carr and an unknown man carjacked Andrew Schreiber, held a gun to his head, and forced him to make cash withdrawals at various ATMs.

 On the night of December 11, the brothers followed Linda Ann Walenta, a cellist for the Wichita symphony, home from orchestra practice. One of them approached her vehicle and said he needed help.  When she rolled down her window, he pointed a gun at her head.  When she shifted into reverse to escape, he shot her three times, ran back to his brother’s car, and fled the scene. One of the gunshots severed Walenta’s spine, and she died one month later as a result of her injuries.

 On the night of December 14, the brothers burst into a triplex at 12727 Birchwood, where roommates Jason, Brad, and Aaron lived.  Jason’s girlfriend, Holly, and Heather, a friend of Aaron’s, were also in the house.  Armed with handguns and a golf club, the brothers forced all five into Jason’s bedroom. They demanded that they strip naked and later ordered them into the bedroom closet. They took Holly and Heather from the bedroom, demanded that they perform oral sex and digitally penetrate each other as the Carrs looked on and barked orders.  They forced each of the men to have sex with Holly and then with Heather. They yelled that the men would be shot if they could not have sex with the women, so Holly— fearing for Jason’s life—performed oral sex on him in the closet before he was ordered out by the brothers.

 Jonathan then snatched Holly from the closet. He ordered that she digitally penetrate herself.  He set his

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gun between her knees on the floor.  And he raped her.

Then he raped Heather.

 Reginald took Brad, Jason, Holly, and Aaron one-by-one to various ATMs to withdraw cash.  When the victims returned to the house, their torture continued.  Holly urinated in the closet because of fright.  Jonathan found an engagement ring hidden in the bedroom that Jason was keeping as a surprise for Holly.  Pointing his gun at Jason, he had Jason identify the ring while Holly was sitting nearby in the closet. Then Reginald took Holly from the closet, said he was not going to shoot her yet, and raped her on the dining-room floor strewn with boxes of Christmas decorations. He forced her to turn around, ejaculated into her mouth, and forced her to swallow.  In a nearby bathroom, Jonathan again raped Heather and then again raped Holly.

 At 2 a.m.—three hours after the mayhem began—the brothers decided it was time to leave the house.  They attempted to put all five victims in the trunk of Aaron’s Honda Civic.  Finding that they would not all fit, they jammed the three young men into the trunk. They directed Heather to the front of the car and Holly to Jason’s pickup truck, driven by Reginald.  Once the vehicles arrived at a snow-covered field, they instructed Jason and Brad, still naked, and Aaron to kneel in the snow.  Holly cried, “Oh, my God, they’re going to shoot us.”  Holly and Heather were then ordered to kneel in the snow.  Holly went to Jason’s side; Heather, to Aaron.

 Holly heard the first shot, heard Aaron plead with the brothers not to shoot, heard the second shot, heard the screams, heard the third shot, and the fourth.  She felt the blow of the fifth shot to her head, but remained kneeling.  They kicked her so she would fall face-first into the snow and ran her over in the pickup truck.  But she survived, because a hair clip she had fastened to her hair that night deflected the bullet.  She went to Jason, took off her sweater, the only scrap of clothing the brothers had let her wear, and tied it around his head to stop the bleeding from his eye. She rushed to Brad, then Aaron, and then Heather.

 Spotting a house with white Christmas lights in the distance, Holly started running toward it for help—naked, skull shattered, and without shoes, through the snow and over barbed-wire fences. Each time a car passed on the nearby road, she feared it was the brothers returning and camouflaged herself by lying down in the snow.  She made it to the house, rang the doorbell, knocked.  A man opened the door, and she relayed as quickly as she could the events of the night to him, and minutes later to a 911 dispatcher, fearing that she would not live.

 Holly lived, and retold this play-by-play of the night’s events to the jury. Investigators also testified that the brothers returned to the Birchwood house after leaving the five friends for dead, where they ransacked the place for valuables and (for good measure) beat Holly’s dog, Nikki, to death with a golf club.

 The State charged each of the brothers with more than 50 counts, including murder, rape, sodomy, kidnaping, burglary, and robbery, and the jury returned separate guilty verdicts.  It convicted Reginald of one count of kidnaping, aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, and criminal damage to property for the Schreiber carjacking, and one count of first-degree felony murder for the Walenta shooting. Jonathan was acquitted of all counts related to the Schreiber carjacking but convicted of first-degree felony murder for the Walenta shooting.  For the Birchwood murders, the jury convicted each brother of 4 counts of capital murder, 1 count of attempted first-degree murder, 5 counts of aggravated kidnaping, 9 counts of aggravated robbery, 20 counts of rape or attempted rape, 3 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, 1 count each of aggravated burglary and burglary, 1 count of theft, and 1 count of cruelty to animals. The jury also convicted Reginald of three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. 300 Kan. 1, 15–16, 331 P. 3d 544, 573–574 (2014).

 The State sought the death penalty for each of the four Birchwood murders, and the brothers were sentenced together. The State relied on the guilt-phase evidence, including Holly’s two days of testimony, as evidence of four aggravating circumstances: that the defendants knowingly or purposely killed or created a great risk of death to more than one person; that they committed the crimes for the purpose of receiving money or items of monetary value; that they committed the crimes to prevent arrest or pro- secution; and that they committed the crimes in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner.  Id., at 258–259, 331 P. 3d, at 708.  After hearing each brother’s case for mitigation, the jury issued separate verdicts of death for Reginald and Jonathan. It found unanimously that the State proved the existence of the four aggravating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt and that those aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances, justifying four separate verdicts of death for each brother for the murders of Jason, Brad, Aaron, and Heather. App. in No. 14–449 etc., pp. 461–492.

C

 The Kansas Supreme Court vacated the death penalties in both cases. It held that the instructions used in both Gleason’s and the Carrs’ sentencing violated the Eighth Amendment because they “failed to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need only be proved to the satisfaction of the individual juror in that juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reasonable doubt.” 299 Kan., at 1196, 329 P. 3d, at 1147 (Gleason); 300 Kan., at 303, 331 P. 3d, at 733 (Reginald Carr); 300 Kan. 340, 369–370, 329 P. 3d 1195, 1213 (2014) (Jonathan Carr).  Without that instruction, according to the court, the jury “was left to speculate as to the correct burden of proof for mitigating circumstances, and reasonable jurors might have believed they could not consider mitigating circumstances not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  This, the court concluded, might have caused jurors to exclude relevant mitigating evidence from their consideration.  Ibid.

 The Kansas Supreme Court also held that the Carrs’ death sentences had to be vacated because of the trial court’s failure to sever their sentencing proceedings, thereby violating the brothers’ Eighth Amendment right “to an individualized capital sentencing determination.” 

300 Kan., at 275, 331 P. 3d, at 717; 300 Kan., at 368, 329 P. 3d, at 1212.  According to the court, the joint trial “inhibited the jury’s individualized consideration of [Jonathan] because of family characteristics tending to demonstrate future dangerousness that he shared with his brother”; and his brother’s visible handcuffs prejudiced the jury’s consideration of his sentence.  300 Kan., at 275, 331 P. 3d, at 717.  As for Reginald, he was prejudiced, according to the Kansas Supreme Court, by Jonathan’s portrayal of him as the corrupting older brother.  Id., at 276, 331 P. 3d, at 717. Moreover, Reginald was prejudiced by his brother’s cross-examination of their sister, who testified that she thought Reginald had admitted to her that he was the shooter. Id., at 279, 331 P. 3d, at 719.  (She later backtracked and testified, “‘I don’t remember who was,  you know, shot by who[m].’”   Ibid.) The Kansas Supreme Court opined that the presumption that the jury followed its instructions to consider each defendant separately was “defeated by logic.” Id., at 280, 331 P. 3d, at 719. “[T]he defendants’ joint upbringing in the maelstrom that was their family and their influence on and interactions with one another . . . simply was not amenable to orderly separation and analysis.” Ibid., 331 P. 3d, at 719–720.  The Kansas Supreme Court found itself unable to “say that the death verdict was unattributable, at least in part, to this error.” Id., at 282, 331 P. 3d, at 720.  We granted certiorari. 575 U. S. ___ (2015).

II

 We first turn to the Kansas Supreme Court’s contention that the Eighth Amendment required these capitalsentencing courts to instruct the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

A

 Before considering the merits of that contention, we consider Gleason’s challenge to our jurisdiction.  According to Gleason, the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision rests on adequate and independent state-law grounds. This argument is a familiar one. We rejected it in Kansas v. Marsh, 548 U. S. 163, 169 (2006).  Like the defendant in that case, Gleason urges that the decision below rests only on a rule of Kansas law announced in State v. Kleypas, 272 Kan. 894, 40 P. 3d 139 (2001) (per curiam)—a rule later reiterated in State v. Scott, 286 Kan. 54, 183 P. 3d 801 (2008) (  per curiam).  As we stated in   Marsh, “Kleypas, itself, rested on federal law.” 548 U. S., at 169.  So too does the relevant passage of Scott, which rested on Kleypas’s discussion of the constitutional rule that jurors need not agree on mitigating circumstances.  See Scott, supra, at 106–107, 183 P. 3d, at 837–838.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion in this case acknowledged as much, saying that “statements from Kleypas implicate the broader Eighth Amendment principle prohibiting barriers that preclude a sentencer’s consideration of all relevant mitigating evidence.” 299 Kan., at 1195, 329 P. 3d, at 1147.  

 The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion leaves no room for doubt that it was relying on the Federal Constitution.  It stated that the instruction it required “protects a capital defendant’s Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing,” that the absence of the instruction “implicat[ed] Gleason’s right to individualized sentencing under the Eighth Amendment,” and that vacatur of Gleason’s death sentence was the “[c]onsequen[ce]” of Eighth Amendment error. Id., at 1196–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1147–1148 (emphasis added).

 For this reason, the criticism leveled by the dissent is misdirected. It generally would have been “none of our business” had the Kansas Supreme Court vacated Gleason’s and the Carrs’ death sentences on state-law grounds. Marsh, 548 U. S., at 184 (SCALIA, J., concurring).  But it decidedly did not. And when the Kansas Supreme Court time and again invalidates death sentences because it says the Federal Constitution requires it, “review by this Court, far from undermining state autonomy, is the only possible way to vindicate it.” Ibid. “When we correct a state court’s federal errors, we return power to the State, and to its people.Ibid.  The state courts may experiment all they want with their own constitutions, and often do in the wake of this Court’s decisions. See Sutton, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez And Its Aftermath, 94 Va. L. Rev. 1963, 1971–1977 (2008).  But what a state court cannot do is experiment with our Federal Constitution and expect to elude this Court’s review so long as victory goes to the criminal defendant.  “Turning a blind eye” in such cases “would change the uniform ‘law of the land’ into a crazy quilt.”  Marsh, supra, at 185.  And it would enable state courts to blame the unpopular death-sentence reprieve of the most horrible criminals upon the Federal Constitution when it is in fact their own doing.

B

 We turn, then, to the merits of the Kansas Supreme Court’s conclusion that the Eighth Amendment requires capital-sentencing courts in Kansas “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.

 Approaching the question in the abstract, and without reference to our capital-sentencing case law, we doubt whether it is even possible to apply a standard of proof to the mitigating-factor determination (the so-called “selection phase” of a capital-sentencing proceeding).  It is possible to do so for the aggravating-factor determination (the so-called “eligibility phase”), because that is a purely factual determination. The facts justifying death set forth in the Kansas statute either did or did not exist—and one can require the finding that they did exist to be made beyond a reasonable doubt.  Whether mitigation exists, however, is largely a judgment call (or perhaps a value call); what one juror might consider mitigating another might not. And of course the ultimate question whether mitigating circumstances outweigh aggravating circumstances is mostly a question of mercy—the quality of which, as we know, is not strained.  It would mean nothing, we think, to tell the jury that the defendants must deserve mercy beyond a reasonable doubt; or must morelikely-than-not deserve it. It would be possible, of course, to instruct the jury that the facts establishing mitigating circumstances need only be proved by a preponderance, leaving the judgment whether those facts are indeed mitigating, and whether they outweigh the aggravators, to the jury’s discretion without a standard of proof.  If we were to hold that the Constitution requires the mitigatingfactor determination to be divided into its factual component and its judgmental component, and the former to be accorded a burden-of-proof instruction, we doubt whether that would produce anything but jury confusion.  In the last analysis, jurors will accord mercy if they deem it appropriate, and withhold mercy if they do not, which is what our case law is designed to achieve.

 In any event, our case law does not require capital sentencing courts “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Ibid. In Buchanan v. Angelone, 522 U. S. 269 (1998), we upheld a death sentence even though the trial court “failed to provide the jury with express guidance on the concept of mitigation.” Id., at 275.  Likewise in Weeks v. Angelone, 528 U. S. 225 (2000), we reaffirmed that the Court has “never held that the State must structure in a particular way the manner in which juries consider mitigating evidence” and rejected the contention that it was constitutionally deficient to instruct jurors to “‘consider a mitigating circumstance if you find there is        evidence to support it,’” without additional guidance.    Id., at 232–233.

 Equally unavailing is the contention that even if an instruction that mitigating evidence need not be “proven beyond a reasonable doubt” is not always required, it was constitutionally necessary in these cases to avoid confusion. Ambiguity in capital-sentencing instructions gives rise to constitutional error only if “there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents the consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence.” Boyde v. California, 494 U. S. 370, 380 (1990) (emphasis added). The alleged confusion stemming from the jury instructions used at the defendants’ sentencings does not clear that bar.  A meager “possibility” of confusion is not enough. Ibid.  As an initial matter, the defendants’ argument rests on the assumption that it would be unconstitutional to require the defense to prove mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt.  Assuming without deciding that that is the case, the record belies the defendants’ contention that the instructions caused jurors to apply that standard of proof. The defendants focus upon the following instruction: “The State has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are one or more aggravating circumstances and that they are not outweighed by any mitigating circumstances found to exist.”  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, p. 133 (Instr. 8).[3]  The juxtaposition of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, so goes the argument, caused the jury to speculate that mitigating circumstances must also be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. 299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  It seems to us quite the opposite. The instruction makes clear that both the existence of aggravating circumstances and the conclusion that they outweigh mitigating circumstances must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt; mitigating circumstances themselves, on the other hand, must merely be “found to exist.” That same description, mitigating circumstances “found to exist,” is contained in three other instructions, App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, at 133 (Instrs. 7, 9, and 10) (emphasis added)—unsurprisingly, since it recites the Kansas statute, see Kan. Stat. Ann. §21–4624(e) (1995).  “Found to exist” certainly does not suggest proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  The instructions as a whole distinguish clearly between aggravating and mitigating circumstances: “The State has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are one or more aggravating circumstances . . . ,” and the jury must decide unanimously that the State met that burden.  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, at 133 (Instrs. 8 and 10) (emphasis added).  “Mitigating circumstances,” on the other hand, “do not need to be found by all members of the jury” to “be considered by an individual juror in arriving at his or her sentencing decision.”  Id., at 131 (Instr. 7).  Not once do the instructions say that defense counsel bears the

——————

burden of proving the facts constituting a mitigating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt—nor would that make much sense, since one of the mitigating circumstances is (curiously) “mercy,” which simply is not a fac- tual determination.

 We reject the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision that jurors were “left to speculate as to the correct burden of proof for mitigating circumstances.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  For the reasons we have described, no juror would reasonably have speculated that mitigating circumstances must be proved by any particular standard, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.  The reality is that jurors do not “pars[e] instructions for subtle shades of meaning in the same way that lawyers might.”  Boyde, supra, at 381.  The instructions repeatedly told the jurors to consider any mitigating factor, meaning any aspect of the defendants’ background or the circumstances of their offense.  Jurors would not have misunderstood these instructions to prevent their consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence.

III

 We turn next to the contention that a joint capitalsentencing proceeding in the Carrs’ cases violated the defendants’ Eighth Amendment right to an “individualized sentencing determination.” 300 Kan., at 276, 331 P. 3d, at 717.

 The Kansas Supreme Court agreed with the defendants that, because of the joint sentencing proceeding, one defendant’s mitigating evidence put a thumb on death’s scale for the other, in violation of the other’s Eighth Amendment rights. Ibid.  It accepted Reginald’s contention that he was prejudiced by his brother’s portrayal of him as the corrupting older brother.  And it agreed that Reginald was prejudiced by his brother’s cross-examination of their sister, who equivocated about whether Reginald admitted to her that he was the shooter.  (Reginald has all but abandoned that implausible theory of prejudice before this Court and contends only that the State “likely would not have introduced any such testimony” had he been sentenced alone.  Brief for Respondent in No. 14–450, p. 34, n. 3.) Jonathan asserted that he was prejudiced by evidence associating him with his dangerous older brother, which caused the jury to perceive him as an incurable sociopath.[4]  Both speculate that the evidence assertedly prejudicial to them would have been inadmissible in severed proceedings under Kansas law.  The Kansas Supreme Court also launched a broader attack on the joint proceedings, contending that the joinder rendered it impossible for the jury to consider the Carrs’ relative moral culpability and to determine individually whether they were entitled to “mercy.” 300 Kan., at 278, 331 P. 3d, at 718–719.  Whatever the merits of defendants’ procedural objections, we will not shoehorn them into the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”  As the United States as amicus curiae intimates, the Eighth Amendment is inapposite when each defendant’s claim is, at bottom, that the jury considered evidence that would not have been admitted in a severed proceeding, and that the joint trial clouded the jury’s consideration of mitigating evidence like “mercy.”  Brief for United States 24, n. 8.  As we held in Romano v. Oklahoma, 512 U. S. 1 (1994), it is not the role of the Eighth Amendment to establish a special “federal code of evidence” governing “the admissibility of evidence at capital sentencing proceedings.” Id., at 11–12. Rather, it is the Due Process

——————

Clause that wards off the introduction of “unduly prejudicial” evidence that would “rende[r] the trial fundamentally unfair.” Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U. S. 808, 825 (1991); see also Brown v. Sanders, 546 U. S. 212, 220–221 (2006).  The test prescribed by Romano for a constitutional violation attributable to evidence improperly admitted at a capital-sentencing proceeding is whether the evidence “so infected the sentencing proceeding with unfairness as to render the jury’s imposition of the death penalty a denial of due process.” 512 U. S., at 12.  The mere admission of evidence that might not otherwise have been admitted in a severed proceeding does not demand the automatic vacatur of a death sentence.

 In light of all the evidence presented at the guilt and penalty phases relevant to the jury’s sentencing determination, the contention that the admission of mitigating evidence by one brother could have “so infected” the jury’s consideration of the other’s sentence as to amount to a

denial of due process is beyond the pale.  To begin with, the court instructed the jury that it “must give separate consideration to each defendant,” that each was “entitled to have his sentence decided on the evidence and law which is applicable to him,” and that any evidence in the penalty phase “limited to only one defendant should not be considered by you as to the other defendant.”  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–450, at 501 (Instr. 3).  The court gave defendant-specific instructions for aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  Id., at 502–508 (Instrs. 5, 6, 7, and 8). And the court instructed the jury to consider the “individual” or “particular defendant” by using four separate verdict forms for each defendant, one for each murdered occupant of the Birchwood house. Id., at 509 (Instr. 10); App. in No. 14–449 etc., at 461–492.  We presume the jury followed these instructions and considered each defendant separately when deciding to impose a sentence of death for each of the brutal murders.  Romano, supra, at 13.

 The contrary conclusion of the Kansas Supreme Court— that the presumption that jurors followed these instructions was “defeated by logic,” 300 Kan., at 280, 331 P. 3d, at 719—is untenable. The Carrs implausibly liken the prejudice resulting from the joint sentencing proceeding to the prejudice infecting the joint trial in Bruton v. United States, 391 U. S. 123 (1968), where the prosecution admitted hearsay evidence of a codefendant’s confession implicating the defendant.  That particular violation of the defendant’s confrontation rights, incriminating evidence of the most persuasive sort, ineradicable, as a practical matter, from the jury’s mind, justified what we have described as a narrow departure from the presumption that jurors follow their instructions, Richardson v. Marsh, 481 U. S. 200, 207 (1987).  We have declined to extend that exception, id., at 211, and have continued to apply the presumption to instructions regarding mitigating evidence in capital-sentencing proceedings, see, e.g., Weeks, 528 U. S., at 234.  There is no reason to think the jury could not follow its instruction to consider the defendants separately in this case.

 Joint proceedings are not only permissible but are often preferable when the joined defendants’ criminal conduct arises out of a single chain of events. Joint trial may enable a jury “to arrive more reliably at its conclusions regarding the guilt or innocence of a particular defendant and to assign fairly the respective responsibilities of each defendant in the sentencing.” Buchanan v. Kentucky, 483 U. S. 402, 418 (1987).  That the codefendants might have “antagonistic” theories of mitigation, Zafiro v. United States, 506 U. S. 534, 538 (1993), does not suffice to overcome Kansas’s “interest in promoting the reliability and consistency of its judicial process,” Buchanan, supra, at 418. Limiting instructions, like those used in the Carrs’ sentencing proceeding, “often will suffice to cure any risk of prejudice.” Zafiro, supra, at 539 (citing Richardson, supra, at 211). To forbid joinder in capital-sentencing proceedings would, perversely, increase the odds of “wanto[n] and freakis[h]” imposition of death sentences. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U. S. 153, 206–207 (1976) (joint opinion of Stewart, Powell, and Stevens, JJ.).  Better that two defendants who have together committed the same crimes be placed side-by-side to have their fates determined by a single jury.

 It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment,” Romano, supra, at 13–14.  Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that the supposedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair. It is beyond reason to think that the jury’s death verdicts were caused by the identification of Reginald as the “corrupter” or of Jonathan as the “corrupted,” the jury’s viewing of Reginald’s handcuffs, or the sister’s retracted statement that Reginald fired the final shots.  None of that mattered.  What these defendants did—acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity—was described in excruciating detail by Holly, who relived with the jury, for two days, the Wichita Massacre.  The joint sentencing proceedings did not render the sentencing proceedings fundamentally unfair.

IV

 When we granted the State’s petition for a writ of certiorari for the Carrs’ cases, we declined to review whether the Confrontation Clause, U. S. Const., Amdt. 6, requires that defendants be allowed to cross-examine witnesses whose statements are recorded in police reports referred to by the State in penalty-phase proceedings.  The Kansas Supreme Court did not make the admission of those statements a basis for its vacating of the death sentences, but merely “caution[ed]” that in the resentencing proceedings these out-of-court testimonial statements should be omitted, 300 Kan., at 288, 331 P. 3d, at 724. We are confi- dent that cross-examination regarding these police reports would not have had the slightest effect upon the sen- tences. See Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U. S. 673, 684 (1986).

*  *  *

 The judgments of the Supreme Court of Kansas are reversed, and these cases are remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

 

It is so ordered.


NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

_________________

Nos. 14–449, 14-450, and 14–452

_________________

14–449

 

14–450

 

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

JONATHAN D. CARR

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

REGINALD DEXTER CARR, JR.

KANSAS, PETITIONER

14–452

v.

SIDNEY J. GLEASON

 

ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF  KANSAS   

[January 20, 2016]

 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, dissenting.

 I respectfully dissent because I do not believe these cases should ever have been reviewed by the Supreme Court. I see no reason to intervene in cases like these— and plenty of reasons not to.  Kansas has not violated any federal constitutional right. If anything, the State has overprotected its citizens based on its interpretation of state and federal law. For reasons ably articulated by my predecessors and colleagues and because I worry that cases like these prevent States from serving as necessary laboratories for experimenting with how best to guarantee defendants a fair trial, I would dismiss the writs as improvidently granted.

I

 In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court vacated three death sentences—the sentences of Sidney Gleason and the Carr brothers, Reginald and Jonathan—because of constitutional errors in the penalty phases of their trials.  All three men were tried under jury instructions that did not include language previously mandated by the Kansas Supreme Court.  The instructions did not state that, under Kansas’ statutory scheme, mitigating circumstances need only be proven to an individual juror’s satisfaction and not beyond a reasonable doubt. 299 Kan. 1127, 1192–1197, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1145–1148 (2014) (Sidney Gleason); 300 Kan. 1, 302–303, 331 P. 3d 544, 732– 733 (2014) (Reginald Carr); 300 Kan. 340, 368–369, 329 P. 3d 1195, 1213 (2014) (Jonathan Carr).  The court found that the instructions therefore both undermined Kansas’ state law and created a “reasonable likelihood that the jury . . . applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents consideration” of mitigating evidence as required by the Federal Constitution.  299 Kan., at 1191–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1144–1148 (quoting Boyde v. California, 494

U. S. 370, 380 (1990)).

 The Kansas Supreme Court also vacated the Carr brothers’ death sentences because they were jointly tried at the penalty phase. The court concluded that each brother’s particular case for mitigation compromised the other brother’s case and therefore that trying them jointly violated the Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing. The error was not harmless, the Kansas Supreme Court found, because an “especially damning subset” of the evidence presented might not have been admitted in separate penalty proceedings.  300 Kan., at 275–282, 331 P. 3d, at 717–720; 300 Kan., at 369–370, 329

P. 3d, at 1212.

 The Kansas attorney general requested certiorari, alleging that it would best serve the State’s interest for a federal court to intervene and correct the Kansas Supreme Court. This Court complied, even though there was no suggestion that the Kansas Supreme Court had violated any federal constitutional right.  The majority now reverses the Kansas Supreme Court on both points.

II   

A  

 Even where a state court has wrongly decided an “important question of federal law,” Sup. Ct. Rule 10, we often decline to grant certiorari, instead reserving such grants for instances where the benefits of hearing a case outweigh the costs of so doing.  My colleagues and predecessors have effectively set forth many of the costs of granting certiorari in cases where state courts grant relief to criminal defendants: We risk issuing opinions that, while not strictly advisory, may have little effect if a lower court is able to reinstate its holding as a matter of state law.  Florida v. Powell, 559 U. S. 50, 66 (2010) (Stevens, J.,  dissenting). We expend resources on cases where the only concern is that a State has “‘overprotected’” its citizens.    Michigan v. Long, 463 U. S. 1032, 1068 (1983) (Stevens, J., dissenting). We intervene in an intrastate dispute between the State’s executive and its judiciary rather than entrusting the State’s structure of government to sort it out. See Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U. S. 722, 766–767 (1991) (Blackmun, J., dissenting).  And we lose valuable data about the best methods of protecting constitutional rights—a particular concern in cases like these, where the federal constitutional question turns on the “reasonable likelihood” of jury confusion, an empirical question best answered with evidence from many state courts.  Cf. Arizona v. Evans, 514 U. S. 1, 30–31 (1995) (GINSBURG, J.,  dissenting).

B

 The cases here demonstrate yet another cost of granting certiorari to correct a state court’s overprotection of federal rights: In explaining that the Federal Constitution does not protect some particular right, it is natural to buttress the conclusion by explaining why that right is not very important.  In so doing, the Court risks discouraging States from adopting valuable procedural protections even as a matter of their own state law.

 State experimentation with how best to guarantee a fair trial to criminal defendants is an essential aspect of our federalism scheme. See, e.g., Linde, First Things First: Rediscovering the States’ Bill of Rights, 9 U. Balt. L. Rev. 379, 393 (1980). The Federal Constitution guarantees only a minimum slate of protections; States can and do provide individual rights above that constitutional floor.  See, e.g., Brennan, The Bill of Rights and the States: the Revival of State Constitutions as Guardians of Constitutional Rights, 61 N. Y. U. L. Rev. 535, 548–550 (1986).  That role is particularly important in the criminal arena because state courts preside over many millions more criminal cases than their federal counterparts and so are more likely to identify protections important to a fair trial.  Compare Court Statistics Project, Examining the Work of State Courts: An Analysis of 2010 State Court Caseloads 19–21 (2012), with Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics 2011–2012, pp. 19–20 (Jan. 2015) (Tables 11 and 12).

 The majority’s opinion in these cases illustrates how an unnecessary grant of certiorari can lead to unexpected costs by disrupting this sort of state experimentation.  Take the first question presented in these cases. The majority’s actual holding is that the Eighth Amendment does not require an instruction specifying that mitigating factors need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ante, at 11–12.  The Eighth Amendment has nothing to say about whether such an instruction is wise as a question of state law or policy.  But the majority nonetheless uses this Court’s considerable influence to call into question the logic of specifying any burden of proof as to mitigating circumstances.  The majority claims that while assessing an aggravating factor is “a purely factual determination,” assessing mitigation involves “a judgment call (or perhaps a value call)” and is thus not amenable to burdens of proof.  Ante, at 10. Short of dividing the mitigating factor “into its factual component and its judgmental component,” and issuing burden-of-proof instructions only as to the former, the majority wonders “whether it is even possible to apply a standard of proof to the mitigatingfactor determination.”  Ibid.

 By this observation, and with no experience with the needs of juries, the majority denigrates the many States that do specify a burden of proof for the existence of mitigating factors as a matter of state law, presumably under the belief that it is, in fact, “possible” to do so.*  Brief for Respondent in No. 14–452, pp. 28–29, and n. 6.  Some States even recommend an instruction specifying that mitigating factors need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. See, e.g., Idaho Jury Instr., Crim., ICJI 1718, Jury Deliberations (2010); Okla. Jury Instr., Crim, OUJI–CR 4– 78 (2015).

 The majority’s discussion of severance likewise short circuits state experimentation.  The majority is not con-

——————

*I leave aside the merits of the majority’s questionable distinction,        though I cannot see how the jury’s conclusion that the Carr brothers committed their crime “in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner”—one of the aggravating circumstances found by the Carr brothers’ jury—involved any less of a judgment or value call than the mitigating circumstances alleged.  See 300 Kan. 1, 282–283, 331 P. 3d 544, 721 (2014).

tent to hold that the Eighth Amendment does not, strictly speaking, require severance of capital penalty proceedings.  Instead, it goes on to explain why joint capital sentencing proceedings are not only permissible under the Federal Constitution but are, in fact, preferable as a policy matter: “Better that two defendants who have together committed the same crimes be placed side-by-side to have their  fates determined by a single jury.”  Ante, at 17.  The majority even intimates that severed proceedings may be worse for defendants: “To forbid joinder in capitalsentencing proceedings would, perversely, increase the odds of ‘wanto[n] and freakis[h]’ imposition of death sentences.” Ibid. (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153,  206–207 (1976) (joint opinion of Stewart, Powell, and Stevens, JJ.).

 So much for Ohio’s, Georgia’s, and Mississippi’s sentencing regimes, all of which routinely allow severance at both phases of capital proceedings.  See Ga. Code Ann. §17–8–4 (2013) (upon request, defendants must be tried separately in capital cases); Miss. Code Ann. §99–15–47 (2015) (same); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2945.20 (Lexis 2014) (capital defendants shall be tried separately unless good cause is shown for a joint trial).  There is no evidence that any of those three States adopted a severance regime based on a misunderstanding of the Eighth Amendment. But without any empirical foundation or any basis in experience, the majority asserts that such regimes may increase the odds of arbitrariness.

 The majority claims that we “‘return power to the State,  and to its people,’” when we explain that the Federal           Constitution does not require a particular result.  Ante, at 9 (emphasis deleted). But that is only so when the Court is able to pass solely on the federal constitutional ground and not the wisdom of a state holding on an equivalent question. Though the Court pretends that it sends back cases like this one with a clean slate, it rarely fully erases its thoughts on the virtues of the procedural protection at issue. By placing a thumb on the scale against a State adopting—even as a matter of state law—proce- dural protections the Constitution does not require, the Court risks turning the Federal Constitution into a

ceiling, rather than a floor, for the protection of individual liberties.  

III

 I see no reason why these three cases out of the Kansas Supreme Court warranted our intervention given the costs that I have just described and those described by my predecessors and colleagues, see supra, at 3.  No federal  right has been compromised. And nobody disputes that the State of Kansas could, as a matter of state law, reach the same outcome.

 Perhaps most importantly, both of the questions on which the Court granted certiorari turn on specific features of Kansas’ sentencing scheme. As a result, the Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion is unlikely to have much salience for other States.  If the Kansas Supreme Court was wrong, its wrong opinion will not subvert federal law on a broader scale.

 First, the Kansas court’s decision on the jury instruction question aimed to “both preserv[e] the [state] statute’s favorable distinction and protec[t] a capital defendant’s Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing by ensuring jurors are not precluded from considering all relevant mitigating evidence.” 299 Kan., at 1196, 329 P. 3d, at 1147 (emphasis added).  The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision was thus informed by a combination of federal and state considerations.  A decision that expressly relies on a State’s unique statutory scheme—as did the Kansas Supreme Court’s here—has limited potential for influencing other States.

 It is not absurd to conclude that a juror unfamiliar with the mechanics of the law might be confused by Kansas’ jury instructions, which almost always mention aggravating and mitigating instructions in the same breath.  Id., at 1196–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1147–1148.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion rested largely on the specific language and ordering of that State’s instructions.  Other States’ jury instructions may be less likely to have the same effect.

 Moreover, the decision below was made against the unique backdrop of trial courts’ failure to implement the Kansas Supreme Court’s earlier demands for a change to jury instructions in capital cases.  In a 2001 case, the Kansas Supreme Court considered the jury instructions insufficiently confusing to reverse the judgment, but sufficiently confusing to demand higher clarity going forward: “[A]ny instruction dealing with the consideration of mitigating circumstances should state (1) they need to be proved only to the satisfaction of the individual juror in the juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reason- able doubt and (2) mitigating circumstances do not need to be found by all members of the jury in order to be considered in an individual juror’s sentencing decision.” State v. Kleypas, 272 Kan. 894, 1078, 40 P. 3d 139, 268.  The Kansas pattern instructions were then revised to include consideration (2), but—“inexplicably,” as the court noted in Gleason—not consideration (1).  299 Kan., at 1193, 329 P. 3d, at 1145.  The Kansas Supreme Court reiterated the two requirements for any jury instruction in 2008, see State v. Scott, 286 Kan. 54, 106–108, 183 P. 3d 801, 837, and the pattern instructions were finally changed in 2011, see 299 Kan., at 1193, 329 P. 3d, at 1145. But Gleason  and the Carr brothers were tried in the 10-year delay between the Kansas Supreme Court’s initial admonition and when the jury instructions were finally edited. The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion in Gleason may have rested in part on a “broader Eighth Amendment principle,” but it also rested on some lower courts’ failure to give instructions reflecting the Kansas Supreme Court’s “repeated recognition of the required content.”  299 Kan., at 1195, 329 P. 3d, 1146, 1147.  Given this context, the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision is particularly unlikely to undermine other States or the Federal Constitution.  The same goes for the severance question.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision depended on the “especially damning subset” of the aggravating evidence presented that may not have been admitted in a severed proceeding under Kansas’ capital punishment scheme and evidentiary rules, such as evidence that one brother was a bad influence on the other.  Ibid.  But the difference between a joint penalty phase and a severed penalty phase may be of limited significance in States where the same evidence may be admitted in joint and severed proceedings.  Cf. Brown v. Sanders, 546 U. S. 212, 217 (2006); L. Palmer,

The Death Penalty in the United States: A Complete Guide to Federal and State Laws 137 (2d ed. 2014).  It thus seems to me unlikely that the Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion would have proven instructive in other States, even though it was couched in the language of the Federal Constitution.

IV

 There may, of course, be rare cases where certiorari is warranted in which a state prosecutor alleges that a State’s highest court has overprotected a criminal defendant. These circumstances may include: Where a state court’s decision in favor of a criminal defendant implicates another constitutional right, see, e.g., Nebraska Press Assn. v. Stuart, 427 U. S. 539, 547 (1976); where a state court indicates a hostility to applying federal precedents, Florida v. Meyers, 466 U. S. 380, 383 (1984) ( per curiam) (Stevens, J., dissenting); or where a state court’s grant of       relief is particularly likely to destabilize or significantly interfere with federal policy. None of those circumstances, and no comparable interest, is present in these cases.

 The Carr brothers committed acts of “almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity,” and the majority is understandably anxious to ensure they receive their just deserts. (So anxious, in fact, that it reaches out to address a question on which we did not grant certiorari at all.  Ante, at 17). But I do not believe that interest justifies not only “correcting” the Kansas Supreme Court’s error but also calling into question the procedures of other States.

 The standard adage teaches that hard cases make bad law. See Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U. S. 197, 364 (1904) (Holmes, J., dissenting).  I fear that these cases suggest a corollary: Shocking cases make too much law.  Because I believe the Court should not have granted certiorari here, I respectfully dissent.

 


[1] The facts for this portion of the opinion come from the Kansas Supreme Court, 299 Kan. 1127, 1134–1147, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1113–1121 (2014), and the parties’ briefs.

[2] The facts for this portion of the opinion come from the Kansas Supreme Court, 300 Kan. 1, 18–38, 331 P. 3d 544, 575–586 (2014), and witness testimony.  See 21–A Tr. 59–75 (Oct. 7, 2002), 22–B Tr. 39–124 (Oct. 8, 2002), 23–A Tr. 4–118 (Oct. 9, 2002), 23–B Tr. 5–133 (Oct. 9, 2002), and 24–A Tr. 4–93 (Oct. 10, 2002).

[3] The relevant penalty-phase instructions from the Carrs’ sentencing proceedings are materially indistinguishable.  See App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–450, pp. 501–510.

[4] Jonathan also alleges that he was prejudiced by the jury’s witnessing his brother’s handcuffs, which his brother requested remain visible before the penalty phase commenced.  That allegation is mystifying.  That his brother’s handcuffs were visible (while his own restraints were not) more likely caused the jury to see Jonathan as the less dangerous of the two.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Notes On Religion

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Notes on Locke and Shaftesbury, 11 October–9 December 1776

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How the CFR Engineered The Financial Crisis

Financialization is a new term used to discuss the emergence of a new form of capitalism in which financial markets dominate over the traditional industrial economy. Traditionally capitalism was th…

Source: How the CFR Engineered The Financial Crisis

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CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

Brussels attacks 3/22/16 An injured woman sits on a chair at Brussels airport in the aftermath of a suicide attack In December 2004, Council on Foreign Relations member Robert L. Hutchings, Chair…

Source: CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

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CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

 

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Brussels attacks 3/22/16 An injured woman sits on a chair at Brussels airport in the aftermath of a suicide attack

In December 2004, Council on Foreign Relations member Robert L. Hutchings, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA, presented the US president, members of Congress, cabinet members and key officials involved in policymaking a 123-page report titled “Mapping the Global Future” ( http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Global%20Trends_Mapping%20the%20Global%20Future%202020%20Project.pdf ). In the preface Hutchings gives special recognition to Council on Foreign Relations member Matthew Burrows, Director of the NIC’s Analysis and Production Staff. The project took about a year and involved more than 1000 people.

The report foresees pervasive insecurity. Since that time the CFR has been working hard to produce that insecurity by convincing the American public that we should allow hundreds of thousands of middle east refugees into the USA. CFR cohorts in other nations have done the same. Six CFR former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III (served 1989-1992), Dr. Madeleine K. Albright (1997-2001), General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.) (2001-2005), George Shultz (1982-1989), Dr. Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009), Dr. Henry A. Kissinger (1973-1977) said:

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

 MADELEINE ALBRIGHT I think it enriches our country to have refugees here.

 COLIN POWELL  And America has always had a history of welcoming, not only immigrants, but refugees

 HENRY KISSINGER I cannot imagine the United States living in the world in which we are without committing itself in some organized fashion to assist refugees on a global basis

 KISSINGER It would be totally incompatible with our values and our image of who we are.

 JAMES BAKER  The principles and values are very important because that’s what made this country great.  We have always been open to refugees  we have always been open to immigrants 

 BAKER We  are after all a country of immigrants

 ALBRIGHT without an organization like the IRC, I think an awful lot of people would fall through the cracks and would get no care at all. 

 POWELL For all these years, it has reached out, touched people, from the most desperate places in the world, brought them to this country.  

 POWELL  And having brought them here …then making sure they have a place to go.  And they had the beginning of a new home, a new life. 

 GEORGE SHULTZ  And refugees are people, really, fleeing from something or involved in something tragic in their country.  And so if you want to have a decent world, you have to worry about them.  

 POWELL No organization that I have ever worked with has done as much dealing with this population as the IRC has.  

ALBRIGHT It was an organization that worked so hard to do exactly the kind of things I think the US Government needed partners for – a non-governmental organization that was there to do the kind of work that distinguished America in so many ways, 

 CONDOLEEZA RICE –to see the human toll, the human cost, of conflict mitigated

 RICE…to speak for and to be advocates for people who would otherwise be voiceless  sometimes even stateless, as sometimes even refugees are.

 ALBRIGHT What I think is so interesting about the IRC these days is that it’s not just a matter of placing people somewhere, but almost being what I would call a full-service organization.  In many ways it helps to educate people.  It provides health care so that disease doesn’t spread.  And it really looks at the whole person so the refugee is not just an object that is kind of moved around like some game piece; but a human being that needs total care.

 KISSINGER It’s the American tradition. So, I feel very strongly that the United States has a responsibility.  And I’m an enormous admirer of the IRC for its efforts in that field.

 Not addressed by the speakers is that there is no way to screen hundreds of thousands of refugees for a small handful of terrorists that will surely be placed amongst them by ISIS. These terrorists will conduct attacks like those in Paris and Brussels and turn the West against the Muslims and their religion. The vast majority of innocent refugees will be the targets of hate caused by the few bad apples amongst them.The terrorist attacks will be used as an excuse for the New World Order crew to turn countries into police states and change constitutions to take away our freedoms and right to privacy. Bilderberger Hollande, a strong proponent and importer of middle east refugees, is using the Paris terrorist attacks to call for a constitutional change.

The CIA’s crystal ball predicts:

“We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity—which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats—by 2020.  Even as most of the world gets richer, globalization will profoundly shake up the status quo—generating enormous economic, cultural, and consequently political convulsionsWith the gradual integration of China, India, and other emerging countries into the global economy, hundreds of millions of working-age adults will become available foremployment in what is evolving into a more integrated world labor market.

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Military and Masked Police on the Streets of Brussels after Terror Attack 3/22/16

 This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive, competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations.

 The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular, bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the antiglobalization movement. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond, how flexible labor markets become, and whether overall economic growth is sufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers.”

The report foresees International Terrorism :

“The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 yearsFacilitated by global communications, the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East, including Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Western Europe, where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong. This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, and southern Thailand, and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrassas, hawalas1, and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements; alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.

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Staff walks away after Brussels Terror Attack 3/22/2016

 We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups, and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to al-Qa’ida will merge with local separatist movements. Information technology, allowing for instant connectivity, communication, and learning, will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will become virtual (i.e., online).”

 The report lays out four possible scenarios for the future :

“Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth, led by China and India, over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well.

 Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order.

 A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radicalreligious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system.

Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks, possibly introducing an Orwellian world.”

On December 12, 2005 Elisabetth Bumiller published an Article in the NY Times titled 21st-Century Warnings of a Threat Rooted in the 7th. The article is about the word “Caliphate”. The article is a limited hangout mentioning six members of the Council on Foreign Relations but links only one of them to the CFR.  “Just as we had the opportunity to learn what the Nazis were going to do, from Hitler’s world in ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid said, “we need to learn what these people intend to do from their own words.” Two Council on Foreign Relations members, George Shuster and William Langer edited the English version of “Mein Kampf” in 1939. Instead of warning the American people The Council on Foreign Relations brought Hitler and the National Socialists to power to cause World War II. ( http://www.bilderberg.org/roundtable/emhitler.html ).

The Council on Foreign Relations is now bringing Islamic Radicals to power to escalate the War on Terror and bring about World War III. The unrest in the Middle East is part of the Council on Foreign Relations plan. Sceanario three, A New Caliphate, is unfolding. The  Tunisian and Egyption revolutions in the middle east are a giant step forward in the plan.

Meanwhile the Council on Foreign Relations War on Terror is advancing scenario four, the Cycle of Fear, as western nations like the USA and Britain infringe on the liberties of their citizens, strip away their privacy, dignity and freedom and turn them into police states.

The article follows modified to identify the Council on Foreign Relations members.

ELISABETH BUMILLER/White House Letter: 21st-Century Warnings of a Threat Rooted in the 7th New York Times; Dec 12, 2005;

Defense Secretary [Trilateral Commission memberDonald H. Rumsfeld said it in a speech last Monday in Washington and again on Thursday on PBS. Eric S. Edelman, the under secretary of defense for policy, said it the week before in a round table at the Council on Foreign Relations. Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, said it in October in speeches in New York and Los Angeles. [Council on Foreign Relations member] Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American commander in the Middle East, said it in September in hearings on Capitol Hill.

Vice President[Council on Foreign Relations member ] Dick Cheney was one of the first members of the Bush administration to say it, at a campaign stop in Lake Elmo, Minn., in September 2004.

The word getting the workout from the nation’s top guns these days is “caliphate” – the term for the seventh-century Islamic empire that spanned the Middle East, spread to Southwest Asia, North Africa and Spain, then ended with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. The term can also refer to other caliphates, including the one declared by the Ottoman Turks that ended in 1924.

Specialists on Islam say the word is a mysterious and ominous one for many Americans, and that the administration knows it. “They recognize that there’s a lot of resonance when they use the term ‘caliphate,’ ” said [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Kenneth M. Pollack, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and now a scholar at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Zbigniew Brzezinski, [Council on Foreign Relations member ] President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, said that the word had an “almost instinctive fearful impact.”

So now, [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Mr. Cheney and others warn, Al Qaeda’s ultimate goal is the re-establishment of the caliphate, with calamitous consequences for the United States. As Mr. Cheney put it in Lake Elmo, referring to Osama bin Laden and his followers: “They talk about wanting to re-establish what you could refer to as the seventh-century caliphate” to be “governed by Sharia law, the most rigid interpretation of the Koran.” Or as Mr. Rumsfeld put it on Monday: “Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia.”

 

Osama Bin Landen's lawyers

Lawyers CFR member’s Johnson and Preston Pave The Way to Kill Bin Laden

 [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid was dire, too. “They will try to re-establish a caliphate throughout the entire Muslim world,” he told the House Armed Services Committee in September, adding that the caliphate’s goals would include the destruction of Israel. “Just as we had the opportunity to learn what the Nazis were going to do, from Hitler’s world in ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid said, “we need to learn what these people intend to do from their own words.”

A number of scholars and former government officials take strong issue with the administration’s warning about a new caliphate, and compare it to the fear of communism spread during the Cold War. They say that although Al Qaeda’s statements do indeed describe a caliphate as a goal, the administration is exaggerating the magnitude of the threat as it seeks to gain support for its policies in Iraq.

In the view of John L. Esposito, an Islamic studies professor at Georgetown University, there is a difference between the ability of small bands of terrorists to commit attacks across the world and achieving global conquest. “It is certainly correct to say that these people have a global design, but the administration ought to frame it realistically,” said Mr. Esposito, the founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown. “Otherwise they can actually be playing into the hands of the Osama bin Ladens of the world because they raise this to a threat that is exponentially beyond anything that Osama bin Laden can deliver.”

CFR Ginsberg DeGioia Georgetown

Georgetown University a CFR’s Rat’s Nest

 [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland, said Al Qaeda was not leading a movement that threatened to mobilize the vast majority of Muslims. A recent poll Mr.Telhami conducted with Zogby International of 3,900 people in six countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon – found that only 6 percent sympathized with Al Qaeda’s goal of seeking an Islamic state.

The notion that Al Qaeda could create a new caliphate, he said, is simply wrong. “There’s no chance in the world that they’ll succeed,” he said. “It’s a silly threat.” (On the other hand, more than 30 percent in [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Mr. Telhami’s poll said they sympathized with Al Qaeda, because the group stood up to America.)

The term “caliphate” has been used internally by policy hawks in the Pentagon since the planning stages for the war in Iraq, but the administration’s public use of the word has increased this summer and fall, around the time that American forces obtained a letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 leader in Al Qaeda, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The 6,000-word letter, dated early in July, called for the establishment of a militant Islamic caliphate across Iraq before Al Qaeda’s moving on to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and then a battle against Israel.

In recent weeks, the administration’s use of “caliphate” has only intensified, as Mr. Bush has begun a campaign of speeches to try to regain support for the war. He himself has never publicly used the term, although he has repeatedly described the caliphate, as he did in a speech last week when he said that the terrorists want to try to establish “a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain.”

Six days earlier, Mr. Edelman, the under secretary of defense, made it clear. “Iraq’s future will either embolden terrorists and expand their reach and ability to re-establish a caliphate, or it will deal them a crippling blow,” he said. “For us, failure in Iraq is just not an option.”

The events of the last few weeks in Tunisia and Egypt  have emboldened the terrorists and expanded their reach and ability to re-establish a caliphate. Was this what the CFR had in store for the World when they backed Bin Laden during the Soviet/Afghan War ?

media terror

CFR run Main Stream Media is a Public Opinion Propaganda Machine

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