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Yeager v. United States

Docket No.: 08-67
Certiorari Granted: Nov 14 2008
Argued: March 23, 2009
Decided: June 18, 2009

PartyNames: F. Scott Yeager v. United States
Petitioner: F. Scott Yeager
Respondent: United States

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

F. Scott Yeager
v.
United States
Background:

The courts of appeals are deeply divided as to whether, when conducting the Fifth Amendment collateral estoppel analysis set out by this court in Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436 (1970), a court should consider the jury's failure to reach a verdict on some counts. The issue presented here is:

Question Presented:

1. Whether, when a jury acquits a defendant on multiple counts but fails to reach a verdict on other counts that share a common element, and, after a complete review of the record, the court of appeals determines that the only rational basis for the acquittals is that an essential element of the hung counts was determined in the defendant's favor, collateral estoppel bars a retrial on the hung counts.

Question:

Does the Double Jeopardy Clause bar retrial when a jury acquits a defendant on some counts, but fails to reach a verdict on other counts whose essential elements must have been decided in the defendant's favor by a rational jury?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
Read YEAGER V. UNITED STATES opinion (PDF)
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