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EVANS v. MICHIGAN

Docket No.: 11-1327
Certiorari Granted: Jun 11 2012
Argued: November 6, 2012
Decided: February 20, 2013

Topics:

Double Jeopardy, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fifth Amendment, Jury Instructions, Jury Trial, criminal procedure, murder, patent, stare decisis, willfulness

PartyNames: Lamar Evans v. Michigan
Petitioner: Lamar Evans
Respondent: Michigan

Court Below: Supreme Court of Michigan
Citation: 491 Mich. 1
Lower Court Decision
Supreme Court Docket
Supreme Court Observer Blog Post for EVANS v. MICHIGAN

Lamar Evans
v.
Michigan
Background:

Courts are split as to whether the Double Jeopardy Clause bars a retrial after the trial judge grants a midtrial directed verdict of acquittal based on an error of law that can be characterized as adding an element to the charged offense. The Michigan Supreme Court rests on a reading of the 1977 case of United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 571. That holding may be unsustainable in light of the Supreme Court's more recent Double Jeopardy Clause precedents. The case of LAMAR EVANS v. MICHIGAN presents an opportunity to resolve the Double Jeopardy Clause issue.

Facts:

Lamar Evans was acquitted based on a motion for directed verdict. The prosecution appealed the order to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Over Petitionerís objection that the Double Jeopardy Clause precluded the prosecution's appeal, the court of appeals reversed the trial court grant of a directed verdict and ordered a new trial. Evans appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing that a new trial would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, and sought certiorari with the US Supreme Court.

Question Presented:

Does the Double Jeopardy Clause bar retrial after the trial judge erroneously holds a particular fact to be an element of the offense and then grants a midtrial directed verdict of acquittal because the prosecution failed to prove that fact?

EVANS v. MICHIGAN
ORAL ARGUMENT

November 6, 2012

Listen to Oral Argument in EVANS v. MICHIGAN
Holding: REVERSED
Vote: 8-1
Opinion By:
For more coverage on EVANS v. MICHIGAN please see our blog posting.
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