IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE

UNITED STATES

JOHN E. WINFIELD, )
)
Petitioner, )
) No. 13-10589
v. ) 13A1249
)
TROY STEELE, )
Warden, Potosi Correctional Center, et al., )
)
Respondents. )

SUGGESTIONS IN OPPOSITION TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF
CERTIORARI AND APPLICATION FOR STAY OF EXECUTION
Winfield requests a writ of certiorari and a stay of execution while the Court
reviews his challenge to access to clemency. Winfield has not shown there is an
important federal question that has not been, but should be, decided by this Court.
Supreme Court Rule 10(a). Winfield also does not show significant, divergent cases that
would be reconciled by the Court’s review. Supreme Court Rule 10(c). Accordingly, the
Court should deny the petition for writ of certiorari and application for stay.
Missouri has a discretionary clemency process with the Governor as the decision-
maker. Article IV, § 7, Mo. Const.; Cooper v. Holden, 189 S.W.3d 614, 620 (Mo. banc
2006). The issue of due process rights arising from a discretionary clemency process has
already been resolved by this Court. There is no liberty interest that is protected by due
process when the clemency decision is left to the discretion of the decision-maker.
Connecticut Bd. of Pardons v. Dumschat, 452 U.S. 458 (1981). Justice O’Connor,
writing for a four-Justice plurality in Ohio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard, 523 U.S.
272 (1998), stated that there may be a theoretical case warranting judicial intervention
2
such as “a scheme whereby a state official flipped a coin to determine whether to grant
clemency, or in a case where the State arbitrarily denied a prisoner any access to its
clemency process.” Id. at 289 (O’Connor, J., concurring). Her statement also suggests
there may not be such a theoretical case.
Several years ago, the court below greatly expanded Woodard to grant a stay of
execution in Young v. Hayes, 218 F.3d 850 (8
th
Cir. 2000). But that action occurred
before this Court’s guidance about stays of execution in civil rights suits. See Hill v.
McDonough, 547 U.S. 573 (2006); Nelson v. Campbell, 523 U.S. 272 (2003). In
contrast, the court below found no entitlement to a stay of execution in its June 17, 2014
decision. (Appendix A1-A2).
Winfield suggests that this Court should grant review to resolve divergent
decisions about the extent to which a condemned inmate is entitled to due process in
clemency proceedings. Petition pp. 13-14 citing Young v. Hayes, supra; Wilson v. U.S.
Dist. Court for Northern Dist. of California, 161 F.3d 1185 (9
th
Cir. 1998); Faulder v.
Texas Bd. of Pardons and Paroles, 178 F.3d 343 (5
th
Cir. 1999). Winfield contends that
due process encompasses something much greater than what Justice O’Connor in her
Woodard concurrence speculated might exist.
But that contention would not be resolved by this Court. The Court below
assumed the legal theory most favorable to Winfield, as represented by the Young v.
Hayes decision, and it found no due process violation. The Missouri Department of
Corrections provided to the Governor the declaration by Cole about which Winfield
complains. Appendix, A6. “Whatever minimal procedural safeguards might be
3
guaranteed by the Due Process Clause in a clemency proceeding are likely satisfied
here.” Id. The procedures did not violate the standard of Woodard. Id. Nor did the
procedures violate the language in Young, because the Department actually provided the
declaration to the Governor. Id. The purpose of due process in the context of a clemency
petition is to get accurate information to the decision-maker, and that happened here.
Winfield can provide more information arising out of the lawsuit to the Governor, if
Winfield believes that is beneficial. Id.
Winfield contends that Cole “disavowed” his statement (Petition, p.12). Cole’s
statement was made under penalty of perjury (App. F3). Cole did not recant his
statement as untrue at the district court hearing. (App. G8, G25-26). While he rescinded
his willingness to submit the declaration (G25), the Governor received the full
declaration nonetheless (Doc. 18-4). The strength of the “disavowed” declaration is
actually highlighted by Winfield to the court in his rhetoric of the “Question Presented”
(Petition, p.i.).
Under these circumstances, there is no divergent decision by the lower courts that
would be reconciled with a grant of review. The Court below distinguished Young on its
facts. And the facts do not warrant a stay of execution.
Respectfully submitted,
CHRIS KOSTER
Attorney General

/s/ Stephen D. Hawke
STEPHEN D. HAWKE
Assistant Attorney General
Missouri Bar No. 35242
P.O. Box 899
4
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573)751-3321
(573) 751-3825 FAX
stephen.hawke@ago.mo.gov
Attorneys for Respondents
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
I hereby certify that a copy of this notification was emailed this 17
th
day of June,
2014 to:

Joseph W. Luby
Jessica Sutton
Death Penalty Litigation Clinic
6155 Oak Street, Suite C
Kansas City, MO 64113

/s/ Stephen D. Hawke
STEPHEN D. HAWKE
Assistant Attorney General

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