TYRONE PAYNE, PETITIONER v.TENNESSEE
Justice Marshall, with whom Justice Blackmun joins, dissenting.
Power, not reason, is the new currency of this Court's deci- sionmaking. Four Terms ago, a five-Justice majority of this Court held that "victim impact" evidence of the type at issue in this case could not constitutionally be introduced during the penalty phase of a capital trial. Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496 (1987). By another 5-4 vote, a majority of this Court rebuffed an attack upon this ruling just two Terms ago. South Carolina v. Gathers, 490 U.S. 805 (1989). Nevertheless, having expressly invited respondent to renew the attack, 498 U. S. --- (1991), today's majority overrules Booth and Gathers and credits the dissenting views ex- pressed in those cases. Neither the law nor the facts sup- porting Booth and Gathers underwent any change in the last four years. Only the personnel of this Court did.