|Williams v. Pennsylvania|
|Argued February 29, 2016|
Decided June 9, 2016
|Full case name||Terrance Williams, Petitioner v. Pennsylvania|
|Citations||579 U.S. ___ (more)|
136 S. Ct. 1899; 195 L. Ed. 2d 132
|Opinion announcement||Opinion announcement|
|Prior||Commonwealth v. Williams, 629 Pa. 533, 105 A.3d 1234 (2014); cert. granted, 136 S. Ct. 28 (2015).|
|Chief Justice Castille’s denial of the recusal motion and his subsequent judicial participation violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.|
|Majority||Kennedy, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan|
|Dissent||Roberts, joined by Alito|
|U.S. Const. amends. VIII, XIV|
Williams v. Pennsylvania, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that a prosecutor involved in seeking the death penalty for a defendant should recuse himself if asked to judge an appeal in the capital case.
Terrance Williams was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder and robbery of Amos Norwood and then appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Chief Justice of the state court by that point was Ronald Castille, who had been the local District Attorney of Philadelphia throughout Williams’ trial, sentencing, and appeal, and who had personally authorized his office to seek the death penalty in this case. The attorneys for Williams asked the justice to recuse himself but Castille refused.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion.