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    SHEPPARD v. STATE OF OHIO , 352 U.S. 910 (1956)

    U.S. Supreme Court

    SHEPPARD v. STATE OF OHIO , 352 U.S. 910 (1956)

    352 U.S. 910

    Samuel H. SHEPPARD, Petitioner,
    No. 352.

    Supreme Court of the United States

    November 13, 1956

    Rehearing Denied Dec. 17, 1956.

    See 352 U.S. 955 .

    Messrs. William J. Corrigan and Paul M. Herbert, for petitioner.

    Messrs. Frank T. Cullitan and Saul S. Danaceau, for respondent.

    Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER.

    The truth that education demands reiteration bears on the understanding, and not only by the laity, of the meaning of the denial of a petition for certiorari. Despite the Court's frequent exposition, misconception recurrently manifests itself regarding the exercise of our discretion in not bringing a case here for review. Appropriate occasions may therefore be utilized to make explicit what ought to be assumed. This is one.

    The divided Supreme Court of Ohio sustained the conviction in a capital case the trial of which was enveloped in circumstances thus summarized in the opinion of that court:

    Such denial of his petition in no wise implies that this Court approves the decision of the Supreme Court of Ohio. It means and means only that for one reason or another this case did not commend itself to at least four members of the Court as falling within those considerations which should lead this Court to exercise its discretion in reviewing a lower court's decision. For reasons that have often been explained the Court does not give the grounds for denying the petitions for certiorari in the normally more than 1,000 cases each year in which petitions are denied. It has also been explained why not even the positions of the various Justices in such cases are matters of public record. The rare cases in which an individual position is noted leave unillumined the functioning of the certiorari system, and do not reveal the position of all the members of the Court. See State of Maryland v. Baltimore Radio Show, 338 U.S. 912 .

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