If this issue is raised, evidence will be placed before the court, which will normally rule as a preliminary matter whether the plea is substantiated; if it is, the projected trial will be prevented from proceeding. In some countries, including Canada, Mexico and the United States, the guarantee against being “twice put in jeopardy” is a constitutional right. In other countries, the protection is afforded by statute.
The doctrine appears to have originated in Roman law, in the principle non bis in idem (“an issue once decided must not be raised again”).
he Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in criminal cases. “Pleading the Fifth” is a colloquial term for invoking the right that allows witnesses to decline to answer questions where the answers might incriminate them, and generally without having to suffer a penalty for asserting the right. Defendants cannot be compelled to become witnesses at their own trials. If, however, they choose to testify, they are not entitled to the right during cross-examination, where questions are relevant to their testimony on direct examination. The Amendment requires that felonies be tried only upon indictment by a grand jury. Federal grand juries can force people to take the witness stand, but defendants in those proceedings have Fifth Amendment privileges until they choose to answer any question. To claim the privilege for failure to answer when being interviewed by police, the interviewee must have explicitly invoked the constitutional right when declining to answer questions.
The Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause provides the right to be tried only once in federal court for the same offense. The Amendment also has a Due Process Clause (similar to the one in the 14th Amendment) as well as an implied equal protection requirement (Bolling v. Sharpe). Finally, the Amendment requires that the power of eminent domain be coupled with “just compensation” for those whose property is taken.
The amendment as proposed by Congress in 1789 reads as follows:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
he Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . . .” The four essential protections included are prohibitions against, for the same offense:
- retrial after an acquittal;
- retrial after a conviction;
- retrial after certain mistrials; and
- multiple punishment
Jeopardy attaches in jury trial when the jury is empaneled and sworn in, in a bench trial when the court begins to hear evidence after the first witness is sworn in, or when a court accepts a defendant’s plea unconditionally. Jeopardy does not attach in a retrial of a conviction that was reversed on appeal on procedural grounds (as opposed to evidentiary insufficiency grounds), in a retrial for which “manifest necessity” has been shown following a mistrial, and in the seating of another grand jury if the prior one refuses to return an indictment.
ometimes the same conduct may violate different statutes. If all elements of a lesser offense are relied on to prove a greater offense, the two crimes are the “same offense” for double jeopardy purposes, and the doctrine will bar the second prosecution. In Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932), the Supreme Court held that “where the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory provisions, the test to be applied to determine whether there are two offenses or only one, is whether each provision requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not”. The test was applied in Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161 (1977), where the defendant had first been convicted of operating an automobile without the owner’s consent, and later of stealing the same automobile. The Supreme Court concluded that the same evidence was necessary to prove both offenses, and that in effect there was only one offense. Therefore, it overturned the second conviction.
In other cases, the same conduct may constitute multiple offenses under the same statute, for instance where one robs many individuals at the same time. There is no explicit bar to separate prosecutions for different offenses arising under the same “criminal transaction”, but it is not permissible for the prosecution to re-litigate facts already determined by a jury. In Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436 (1970), the defendant was accused of robbing seven poker players during a game. John Ashe was first tried for, and acquitted of, robbing only one of the players; the defense did not contest that a robbery actually took place. The state then tried the defendant for robbing the second player; stronger identification evidence led to a conviction. The Supreme Court, however, overturned the conviction. It was held that in the first trial, since the defense had not presented any evidence that there was no robbery, the jury’s acquittal had to be based on the conclusion that the defendant’s alibi was valid. Since one jury had held that the defendant was not present at the crime scene, the State could not re-litigate the issue.
“Twice put in jeopardy”
Retrial after acquittal
Once acquitted, a defendant may not be retried for the same offense: “A verdict of acquittal, although not followed by any judgment, is a bar to a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.” Acquittal by directed verdict is also final and cannot be appealed by the prosecution. An acquittal in a trial by judge (bench trial) is also generally not appealable by the prosecution. A trial judge may normally enter an acquittal if he deems the evidence insufficient for conviction. If the judge makes this ruling before the jury reaches its verdict, the judge’s determination is final. If, however, the judge overrules a conviction by the jury, the prosecution may appeal to have the conviction reinstated. Additionally, although a judge may overrule a guilty verdict by a jury, he or she does not have the same power to overrule a not guilty verdict.
More specifically, as stated in Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436 (1970): “…when an issue of ultimate fact has once been determined by a valid and final judgment, that issue cannot again be litigated between the same parties in any future lawsuit.” Res judicata is a term of general application. Underneath that conceptual umbrella is the concept of collateral estoppel. As applied to double jeopardy, the court will use collateral estoppel as its basis for forming an opinion.
- Implied acquittals
If a defendant charged with murder in the first degree is convicted for murder in the second degree, and later the jury’s conviction is overturned on procedural grounds, the defendant may be retried for second degree but not first degree murder; the jury, by convicting the defendant of second degree murder, is deemed to have implicitly acquitted them of first degree murder.
- Non-final judgments
As double jeopardy applies only to charges that were the subject of an earlier final judgment, there are many situations in which it does not apply, despite the appearance of a retrial. For example, a second trial held after a mistrial does not violate the double jeopardy clause because a mistrial ends a trial prematurely without a judgment of guilty or not, as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Josef Perez (1824). Cases dismissed because of insufficient evidence may constitute a final judgment for these purposes, though many state and federal laws allow for substantially limited prosecutorial appeals from these orders. Also, a retrial after a conviction that has been set aside following the grant of a motion for new trial, that has been reversed on appeal, or that has been vacated in a collateral proceeding (such as habeas corpus) would not violate double jeopardy because the judgment in the first trial had been invalidated. In all of these cases, however, the previous trials do not entirely vanish. Testimony from them may be used in later retrials, such as to impeach contradictory testimony given at any subsequent proceeding.
Prosecutors may appeal when a trial judge sets aside a jury verdict for conviction with a judgment notwithstanding verdict for the defendant. A successful appeal by the prosecution would simply reinstate the jury verdict and so would not place the defendant at risk of another trial.
- Reversal for procedural error
If a defendant appeals a conviction and is successful in having it overturned, they are subject to retrial.
Retrial is not possible if the verdict is overturned on the grounds of evidentiary insufficiency, rather than on the grounds of procedural faults. As noted above, if the trial court made a determination of evidentiary insufficiency, the determination would constitute a final acquittal; in Burks v. United States 437 U.S. 1, (1978), the Court held that “it should make no difference that the reviewing court, rather than the trial court, determined the evidence to be insufficient.”
If the earlier trial is a fraud, double jeopardy will not prohibit a new trial because the party acquitted has prevented themselves from being placed into “jeopardy” to begin with.
Grand juries and double jeopardy
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not attach in a grand jury proceeding, or bar a grand jury from returning an indictment when a prior grand jury has refused to do so.
Retrial after conviction
A person who is convicted of one set of charges cannot in general be tried on additional charges related to the crime unless said additional charges cover new facts against which the person in question has not yet been acquitted or convicted. The test that determines whether this can occur is the Blockburger test.
An example of this are the charges of “conspiring to commit murder” and “murder”. Both charges typically have facts distinct from each other. A person can be charged with “conspiring to commit murder” even if the murder never actually takes place if all facts necessary to support the charge can be demonstrated through evidence. Further, a person convicted or acquitted of murder can, additionally, be tried on conspiracy as well if it has been determined after the conviction or acquittal that a conspiracy did, in fact, take place.
Retrial after mistrial****LOOK AT THIS***THE COSBY SITUATION*****
Mistrials are generally not covered by the double jeopardy clause. If a judge dismisses the case or concludes the trial without deciding the facts in the defendant’s favor (for example, by dismissing the case on procedural grounds), the case is a mistrial and may normally be retried. Furthermore, if a jury cannot reach a verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial and order a retrial as was addressed in United States v. Josef Perez, 22 U.S. 579 (1824). When the defendant moves for a mistrial, there is no bar to retrial, even if the prosecutor or judge caused the error that forms the basis of the motion. An exception exists, however, where the prosecutor or judge has acted in bad faith. In Oregon v. Kennedy, 456 U.S. 667 (1982), the Supreme Court held that “only where the governmental conduct in question is intended to ‘goad’ the defendant into moving for a mistrial may a defendant raise the bar of double jeopardy to a second trial after having succeeded in aborting the first on his own motion.”
The defendant may not be punished twice for the same offense. In certain circumstances, however, a sentence may be increased. It has been held that sentences do not have the same “finality” as acquittals, and may therefore be reviewed by the courts.
The prosecution may not seek capital punishment in the retrial if the jury did not impose it in the original trial. The reason for this exception is that before imposing the death penalty the jury has to make several factual determinations and if the jury does not make these it is seen as the equivalent of an acquittal of a more serious offense.
In Arizona v. Rumsey, 467 U.S. 203 (1984), a judge had held a separate hearing after the jury trial to decide if the sentence should be death or life imprisonment, in which he decided that the circumstances of the case did not permit death to be imposed. On appeal, the judge’s ruling was found to be erroneous. However, even though the decision to impose life instead of death was based on an erroneous interpretation of the law by the judge, the conclusion of life imprisonment in the original case constituted an acquittal of the death penalty and thus death could not be imposed upon a subsequent trial. Even though the acquittal of the death penalty was erroneous in that case, the acquittal must stand.
Double jeopardy also does not apply if the later charge is civil rather than criminal in nature, which involves a different legal standard (crimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas civil wrongs need only be proven by preponderance of evidence or in some matters, clear and convincing evidence). Acquittal in a criminal case does not prevent the defendant from being the defendant in a civil suit relating to the same incident (though res judicata operates within the civil court system). For example, O. J. Simpson was acquitted of a double homicide in a California criminal prosecution, but lost a civil wrongful death claim brought over the same victims.
If the defendant happened to be on parole from an earlier offense at the time, the act for which he or she was acquitted may also be the subject of a parole violation hearing, which is not considered to be a criminal trial. Since parolees are usually subject to restrictions not imposed on other citizens, evidence of actions that were not deemed to be criminal by the court may be re-considered by the parole board. This legal board could deem the same evidence to be proof of a parole violation. Most states’ parole boards have looser rules of evidence than is found in the courts – for example, hearsay that had been disallowed in court might be considered by a parole board. Finally, like civil trials parole violation hearings are also subject to a lower standard of proof so it is possible for a parolee to be punished by the parole board for criminal actions that he or she was acquitted of in court.
In the American military, courts-martial are subject to the same law of double jeopardy, since the Uniform Code of Military Justice has incorporated all of the protections of the U.S. Constitution. The non-criminal proceeding non-judicial punishment (or NJP) is considered to be akin to a civil case and is subject to lower standards than a court-martial, which is the same as a civilian court of law. NJP proceedings are commonly used to correct or punish minor breaches of military discipline. If a NJP proceeding fails to produce conclusive evidence, however, the commanding officer (or ranking official presiding over the NJP) is not allowed to prepare the same charge against the military member in question. In a court-martial, acquittal of the defendant means he is protected permanently from having those charges reinstated.
The most famous American court case invoking the claim of double jeopardy is probably the second murder trial in 1876 of Jack McCall, killer of Wild Bill Hickok. McCall was acquitted in his first trial, which Federal authorities later ruled to be illegal because it took place in an illegal town, Deadwood, then located in South Dakota Indian Territory. At the time, Federal law prohibited all except Native Americans from settling in the Indian Territory. McCall was retried in Federal Indian Territorial court, convicted, and hanged in 1877. He was the first person ever executed by Federal authorities in the Dakota Territory.
Double jeopardy also does not apply if the defendant were never tried from the start. Charges that were dropped or put on hold for any reason can always be reinstated in the future—if not barred by some statute of limitations.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY: THE
DOUBLE JEOPARDY PROBLEM
JANET E. FINDLATER t
For nearly a century, the United States Supreme Court has held
that the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment’ does not
bar retrial following a hung jury.2 It has done so consistently, without
discussion of the issue, by peremptory citation to the 1824
decision of United States v. Perez.3 In 1978, however, the Court
acknowledged that Perez need not be read as a double jeopardy
case,4 but summarily dismissed the possibility that Perez was decided
on quite different grounds as “of academic interest only.” 5
The implication is clear-the Court will continue to adhere to
the Perez rule despite the fact that Perez was not a constitutional
case.0 It is the thesis of this Article that in so doing the Court is
in error.7 Whatever the validity in 1824 of the Perez result, the
f Associate Professor of Law, Wayne State University. A.B. 1970, Smith
College; J.D. 1974, University of Michigan.
The author wishes to express her gratitude to Kathryn J. Humphrey, Class
of 1980, Wayne State University Law School, for her invaluable research assistance
on this Article.
I The fifth amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part:
“[Nior shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy
of life or limb.” U.S. CONST. amend. V. The Supreme Court has held that the
double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment applies to the states through the
fourteenth amendment. Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 794 (1969). See also
Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 32 (1978). Additionally, all but five states (Connecticut,
Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Vermont) have double jeopardy provisions in their constitutions. See ALI, AmnaTs s -noN OF = CRmINAL LAw:
DoUBLE JEoPAPU)Y § 6, comment at 61-65 (Off. Draft, 1935). This Article will
focus on double jeopardy as expressed in the fifth amendment.
2 See Keerl v. Montana, 213 U.S. 135 (1909); Dreyer v. Illinois, 187 U.S. 71
(1902); Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. 263 (1892).
322 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 579 (1824).
4 “In fact, a close reading of the short opinion in that case could support the
view that the Court was not purporting to decide a constitutional question, but
simply settling a problem arising in the administration of federal criminal justice.”
Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 34 n.10 (1978).
5″But to cast such a new light on Perez at this late date would be of academic
interest only.” Id.
D The Court, of course, implicitly decided a constitutional question in Perez:
it concluded that the double jeopardy clause did not apply to the hung jury case because, as the Court then interpreted that clause, jeopardy did not attach until a verdict was rendered. See text accompanying notes 13-18 infra. But, given the
Court’s premise that jeopardy was not implicated before verdict, the ultimate
question for decision in Perez-whether retrial was permissible following a hung
jury-was not a double jeopardy question.
7 The point is of no small import. It is estimated that approximately five
percent of the cases that go to trial end in a hung jury. H. KaLvE- & H. ZMs~r.,
THE A2muc.N JunR 57 & n.2 (1966).
702 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
rule that retrial following a hung jury does not run afoul of the
Constitution is today, with all the respect due its years, simply
The rule is not mandated by the Constitution. It is inconsistent
with double jeopardy policy that has become established
doctrine in the 150 years since Perez was decided. But due to the
misconstruction of Perez, the double jeopardy question implicated
in the hung jury case was assumed to have long been resolved.
Consequently, the hung jury issue, disposed of by wooden application
of Perez, has been insulated from developments in the law of
double jeopardy. It is past time to end this treatment of historical
accident as immutable constitutional doctrine and to evaluate the
hung jury case in light of current double jeopardy policy. Such
an evaluation points strongly to the conclusion that retrial following
a hung jury is constitutionally impermissible.
Part I of this Article demonstrates that Perez has been misread
for nearly a century. Perez was not a double jeopardy case; instead,
it involved a common law rule regarding the authority of the trial
court to discharge a jury before verdict. Part II first examines the
significance of this error and the resultant elevation of the Perez
“manifest necessity” test to constitutional status. In particular, it
criticizes using the presence or absence of manifest necessity to
terminate the first trial to determine whether the defendant can be
forced to undergo a second trial. The retrial question should be
answered according to double jeopardy policy, not a common law
rule of trial procedure. Part II then identifies current double
jeopardy policy as found in recent Supreme Court opinions. Part
III evaluates the hung jury issue in light of this policy and concludes
that retrial following a hung jury is unconstitutional.
I. Perez MISREAD: CONSTITUTIONAL JEOPARDY, COMMON LAW
JEOPARDY, AND THE No-DISCHARGE RULE
Since United States v. Perez,8 the Supreme Court has considered
three cases squarely presenting the question whether retrial following
a hung jury violates the double jeopardy clause. 9 All were decided
on the authority of Perez without analysis of either the issue
or the controlling case.10 Additionally, the Court in dictum has
822 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 579 (1824).
9 Keerl v. Montana, 213 U.S. 135 (1909); Dreyer v. Illinois, 187 U.S. 71
(1902); Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. 263 (1891).
10 For example, in Keerl the Court made clear that it considered the matter of
retrial following a hung jury closed: “On the merits, there is little room for con-
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
interpreted Perez as a case holding that retrial following a hung
jury does not constitute double jeopardy.’
Although the question in Perez was indeed whether a defendant
could be retried following a hung jury,12 nowhere in the unanimous
opinion authored by Justice Story is either double jeopardy or the
fifth amendment mentioned. This failure to refer to the Constitution
was not inadvertent. In 1824, the hung jury question did not
implicate the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment. At
that time, the Court adhered to the English common law view that
jeopardy does not attach until a verdict is rendered.’ 3 Because a
troversy. In . . . [Perez], this court passed upon the question arising under the
Fifth Amendment …. This has been the settled law of the Federal courts ever
since that time.” 213 U.S. at 137-38 (citations omitted). See also Dreyer v.
Illinois, 187 U.S. at 85-87; Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. at 297-98.
“1E.g., Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 506 (1978); United States v.
Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 571 (1977); United States v. Sanford, 429
U.S. 14, 16 (1976); Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458, 461-62 (1973); United
States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 480-81 (1971); Downum v. United States, 372 U.S.
734, 735-36 (1963); Gori v. United States, 367 U.S. 364, 368-69 (1961); Wade
v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 689-90 (1949).
12The Perez Court held:
We think, that in all cases of this nature, the law has invested courts of
justice with the authority to discharge a jury from giving any verdict,
whenever, in their opinion, taking all the circumstances into consideration,
there is a manifest necessity for the act, or the ends of public justice would
be otherwise defeated.
22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) at 580. The Court warned, however, that this authority to
abort a trial “ought to be used with the greatest caution, under urgent circumstances,
and for very plain and obvious causes.” Id.
13 See generally M. HALE, PLEAs OF =HE CRowx 205-10 (London 1678).
The rule in England today is still that jeopardy attaches with the verdict. 11
HAxsBuRY’s LAws OF ENGLA=N, CRmx”AL LAW, EviENcE AND Plocenmn ir 242
(4th ed. 1976).
A number of state courts initially took the same position. Stone v. People, 3
Ill. (2 Scam.) 326, 337 (1840); O’Brian v. Commonwealth, 69 Ky. (6 Bush) 563,
570 (1870); Commonwealth v. Olds, 15 Ky. (5 Litt.) 137, 140 (1824) (state
constitution construed); Hoffman v. State, 20 Md. 425, 434 (1863); Commonwealth v. Purchase, 19 Mass. (2 Pick.) 521, 526 (1824); Price v. State, 36 Miss.
531, 544 (1858); State v. Moor, 1 Miss. (1 Walker) 134, 139 (1823); People v.
Goodwin, 18 Johns. 187, 206 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1820); accord, United States v.
Bigelow, 14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 405 (1884). Contra, In re Spier, 12 N.C.
(1 Dev.) 491, 494-95 (1828); State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. (1 Hayw.) 241,
242 (1795); Commonwealth v. Clue, 3 Rawle 498, 501 (Pa. 1831); Commonwealth
v. Cook, 6 Serg. & Rawl. 577, 586 (Pa. 1822); State v. M’Kee, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bail.)
651, 654-55 (1830); Williams v. Commonwealth, 43 Va. (2 Gratt.) 567, 570-71
(1845). Of those jurisdictions initially following the English view, some changed
their position upon reconsideration of the issue. See O’Brian v. Commonwealth,
72 Ky. (9 Bush) 333, 342-43 (1872); Teat v. State, 53 Miss. 439, 453-55 (1876).
In 1935, against the overwhelming weight of authority, the American Law
Institute recommended adoption of the rule that jeopardy attach with the verdict.
The ALI draft provides that the “fact that a person has been put on trial for an
offense is not a bar to a subsequent trial of such person for the same offense unless
,on the former trial he was acquitted or convicted.” AL1, ADMINISTRATION OF THE
Cnn.uNAL LAw: DounLE JEOPARDY § 6 (Off. Draft, 1935).
704 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
non-unanimous jury returns no verdict, jeopardy did not attach,
and the fifth amendment thus had no bearing on whether the defendant
could be retried.
That Justice Story was of this view can be inferred from his
statement in Perez that “the facts constitute no legal bar to a future
trial. The prisoner has not been convicted or acquitted, and may
again be put upon his defence.” 14 Ten years later, in United
States v. Gibert,15 Justice Story confirmed that Perez did not involve
application of the double jeopardy clause: “Upon that occasion the
court did not go into any exposition of the clause in the constitution
now under consideration; but simply stated that in the case of
Perez, the prisoner had not been convicted or acquitted, and therefore
might again be put upon his defence.” 18 Similarly, Justice
The Supreme Court has rejected this position, adhering instead to the view
that jeopardy attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn. This rule has been
raised to constitutional status and made applicable to the states. Crist v. Bretz,
437 U.S. 28 (1978). See notes 34 & 35 infra.
1422 U.S. (9 Wheat.) at 579.
Similarly, see United States v. Haskell, 25 F. Cas. 207 (C.C.E.D. Pa. 1823)
(No. 15,321). Justice Washington, sitting on circuit, held that a juror’s insanity
justified discharge of the jury before verdict and that such discharge did not bar
retrial. Washington explicitly refused to apply the fifth amendment because “the
jeopardy spoken of in this [amendment] can be interpreted to mean nothing short
of the acquittal or conviction of the prisoner, and the judgment of the court
thereupon. This was the meaning affixed to the expression by the common law
…. Id. 212.
Compare the view of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1822: “There is
a wide difference between a verdict given, and the jeopardy of a verdict. Hazard,
peril, danger, jeopardy of a verdict, cannot mean a verdict given.” Commonwealth
v. Cook, 6 Serg. & Rawl. 577, 596 (Pa. 1822) (Duncan, J., concurring).
15 25 F. Cas. 1287 (C.C.D. Mass. 1834) (No. 15,204).
16 Id. 1300.
Defendants in Gibert were convicted of piracy and sentenced to death. They
petitioned the Court for a new trial on the grounds of newly discovered evidence
and legal error at trial. Because jeopardy attached when the original verdict was
entered, Justice Story reasoned that a new trial would twice put each defendant in
jeopardy in violation of his fifth amendment right because it would result in entry
of a second verdict. Unhappily for the defendants in Gibert, Justice Storyconvinced
that protection of their fifth amendment right, literally construed, was
worth more than their necks–ordered them hanged. To understate: quaere.
Justice Story’s literal interpretation of the double jeopardy clause has been
uniformly rejected. In the third edition of Story’s Commentaries, Gibert is quoted
at length in a footnote (the Gibert quote having been added in the second edition),
but the following editorial comment was added by Judge Edmund H. Bennett:
“But this opinion of Judge Story never found favor in other tribunals, and the
contrary doctrine may be considered as generally established. See Ball v. The
Commonwealth, 8 Leigh, 726; Weinzorpflin v. The State, 7 Blackford, 166; United
States v. Keen, I McLean, 429; 3 McLean, 573; United States v. Harding, 1
Wallace Jr.; 2 Lead. Crim. Cases, 492, where all authorities are collected.” 2 J.
STORY, COMMENTAsuES ON TH CONsTrTumON § 1787 n.3 (3d ed. E. Bennett 1858)
(1st ed. Boston 1833). In the fourth edition, edited by Justice Cooley, all references
to Gibert were removed. 2 J. STORY, COMMENTArMS ON TIM CONSTrrrMoN § 1787
n.2 (4th ed. T. Cooley 1873) (1st ed. Boston 1833).
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
Story wrote in his Commentaries on the Constitution that the meaning
of the double jeopardy clause is
that a party shall not be tried a second time for the same
offence, after he has once been convicted, or acquitted of
the offence charged . . . . But it does not mean, that he
shall not be tried for the offence a second time, if the jury
have been discharged without giving any verdict . . . for,
in such a case, his life or limb cannot judicially be said to
have been put in jeopardy.17
And he cited Perez as authority for this interpretation of the double
In sum, in 1824 when Perez was decided, the question whether
a defendant could be retried following a hung jury was not deemed
by the Supreme Court to concern the double jeopardy clause of the
Constitution. 9 Rather, it involved the quite different issue of the
authority of a trial court to discharge a jury prior to verdict. This
issue was much litigated in England and in this country both before
and after Perez.20 At common law it was a rule of practice 21 that
173 J. SToRy, CozmmENTAms ON THE CONSTITUTION § 1781 (Boston 1833)
18 Id. n.1.
19 See also Ex parte Lange, 85 U.S. (18 Wall.) 163 (1873). For state courts
that took the same position, see cases cited note 13 supra. 20 See, e.g., Nugent v. State, 4 Stew. & P. 72 (Ala. 1883); Atkins v. State,
16 Ark. 568 (1855); Stone v. People, 3 Ill. (2 Scam.) 326 (1840); O’Brian v.
Commonwealth, 69 Ky. (6 Bush) 563 (1870); Commonwealth v. Purchase, 19 Mass.
(2 Pick.) 521 (1824); Commonwealth v. Bowden, 9 Mass. 494 (1813); Price
v. State, 36 Miss. 531 (1858); State v. Moor, 1 Miss. (1 Walker) 134 (1823);
People v. Goodwin, 18 Johns. 187 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1820); People v. Olcott, 2 Johns.
Cas. 301 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1801); People v. Denton, 2 Johns. Cas. 275 (N.Y. Sup.
Ct. 1801); Hurley v. State, 6 Ohio 400 (1834); Winsor v. The Queen, L.R. 1
Q.B. 289 (1866); The Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. 786 (Q.B. 1861).
See generally Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 45-47 (Powell, J., dissenting); see also
Commonwealth v. Wood, 12 Mass. 313 (1815).
The author of a 1964 Note on double jeopardy recognized that Perez did not
involve application of the double jeopardy clause. See Note, Double Jeopardy:
The Reprosecution Problem, 77 Hasv. L. REv. 1272, 1276 (1964) (“no final
verdict had been entered”).
Silverstein, writing ten years later, was apparently the first commentator to
offer evidence to support his assertion that Perez was not a double jeopardy case.
See Silverstein, Double jeopardy and Hung Juries: United States v. Castellanos, 5
Rnr.-CAm. L.J. 218, 221-22 (1974). But see Silverstein, Rebuttal: An Alternative
Viewpoint on the Relationship of Unanimous Verdicts and Reasonable Doubt, 11
VA.. L. REv. 29, 31 (1976).
21 Although in England the no-discharge rule protected interests that American
courts recognize as double jeopardy interests, the rule apparently was never the
basis of a common law double jeopardy bar to reprosecution. The rule was one of
jury practice and not one deemed to accord protection to any substantive right of
the defendant. See, e.g., Winsor v. The Queen, L.R. 1 Q.B. 289, 303, 309 (1866);
The Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. 786, 800-03 (Q.B. 1861). But see
706 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
a jury once sworn could not be discharged before a verdict was returned.22
The etiology of the rule is found in the centuries-old
practice of drawing the jury from the vicinage in which the crime
was alleged to have been committed.23 Jurors were not impartial
decisionmakers, but were chosen because of their personal knowledge
of the facts. 24 Each jury was uniquely well-suited to decide
Conway and Lynch v. The Queen, 7 Ir. L. Rep. 149, 164-65 (1845). See generally
Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 42-43 (Powell, J., dissenting); United States v. Bigelow,
14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 422-24 (1884). For the suggestion that the only remedy
for violation of the no-discharge rule is a pardon, see The King v. Wade, 168 Eng.
Rep. 1196 (1825). 22 The rule has been said to be applicable only to capital offenses, see, e.g.,
1 E. CoKE, INsrrrorrs 227b (17th ed. London 1817) (1st ed. London 1628); M.
HALE, PLEAS OF xs-s CRowN 267 (London 1678); 2 W. HAwkiNs, PLEAS OF THE
CROwN 439 (London 1716), but it has not been so limited in either England or
this country. See, e.g., United States v. Bigelow, 14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 422
(1884); The Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. 786 (Q.B. 1861). Coke, in
his Institutes, stated the rule, but nowhere mentioned either the reason for the
rule or the consequence of a failure to adhere to it: “A jury sworne and charged in
case of life or member, cannot be discharged by the court or any other, but they
ought to give a verdict.” 1 E. CoxE, INsTuTOs 227b (17th ed. London 1817)
(1st ed. London 1628).
To speak it here once for all, if any person be indicted of treason, or of
felony, or larceny, and plead not guilty, and thereupon a jury is retorned,
and sworn, their verdict must be heard, and they cannot be discharged,
. . . but ought to give their verdict openly in Court.
3 E. CoKE, INsnTrroTEs 110 (London 1644). Hale states that in capital cases a
verdict “must be given, and [the] jury cannot be discharged till it be given.”
M. HALE, PLEAS OF m CRowN 229 (London 1678). See also 1 J. CKITry, A
PRAcTIcAL TREATISE ON THE CRMINAL LAw 517-18 (Phila. 1819); 2 W.
HAwmNs, PLEAS o THE CnowN 439 (London 1721).
Blackstone modified Coke’s rule somewhat by recognizing an exception for
cases of “evident necessity,” but he too failed to discuss the rationale of the rule
or the effect of its violation. 4 W. BLACKSTONE, CoMamNTvAm s 360 (R. Bum ed.
1791) (1st ed. Oxford 1766). The Bum edition contains the last revisions made
by Blackstone before his death and is the first time any mention of the evident
necessity exception appears in the Commentaries.
23 Kirk, “Jeopardy” During the Period of the Year Books, 82 U. PA. L. REv.
602, 609-12 (1934). See People v. Richardson, 138 Cal. App. 404, 407-08, 32
P.2d 433, 435 (1934); 4 W. BLAcZsToNE, Com uENTAEs 350 (Oxford 1766); M.
HATE, PLEAS OF THE CRowN 134-35, 170 (London 1678); 2 W. HAnWKNs, PLEAS
OF TnE CROWN 403 (London 1721). See generally 1 J. CmTTY, A Plt~cnc TREATISE ON TH C’rNAL aLA Lv 407 (Phila. 1819).
For a discussion of the history of the rule, see Cist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 41-44
(Powell, J., dissenting).
24Before English judges rode circuit, “jurors of the counties where the facts
occurred were summond to give testimony at Westminster on a trial based on those
facts.” Kirk, supra note 23, at 612. Indeed, jurors at one time had an obligation
to make inquiries regarding the case they had been summoned to decide. 2 F.
PoLLocK & F. MArrLAN-D, THE HISTORY OF ENGLSH LAw 624-25 (2d ed. 1898).
Thayer points out that not only were jurors chosen from the visne in which
the crime was alleged to have occurred, but were often chosen because of some
other special qualification, such as their trade. He notes a jury composed of “cooks
and fishmongers, where . . . [the defendant] was accused of selling bad food.”
Thayer, The Jury and Its Development II, 5 HA.v. L. REv. 295, 300 (1892)
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
the case before it and, accordingly, was charged with the responsibility
of returning a verdict no matter how arduous that task
In the seventeenth century, however, the rule prohibiting discharge
of the jury once sworn was put to a new use. During the
reign of the Stuarts, judges routinely discharged juries that appeared
disposed to acquit 26 in order to allow the crown an opportunity
to strengthen its case and try the defendant again.27 The
Blackstone explained the eventual demise of this “policy of ancient law”:
“But this convenience [of being better able to judge the character of the parties
and witnesses] was overballanced by another very natural and almost unavoidable
inconvenience: that jurors, coming out of the immediate neighbourhood, would be
apt to intermix their prejudices and partialities in the trial of right.” 3 W.
BLAc srorg, Co m-mrrAnms 359-60 (Oxford 1766). See 4 id. 350 (commentary
on civil juries applicable to criminal panels as well). See generally 1 J. Cmr,
A PAcncAL TRATSE oN TnE Canrhsn L.w 501-02 (Phila. 1819).
25 The English courts used a variety of methods to insure that the jury reached
a unanimous verdict. Jurors were deprived of food and drink during deliberations.
1 W. HornswoaTr, A HISToRY OF ENGLIsH LAw 318-19 (7th ed. rev. 1956).
And if, by the expiration of the court’s term, the jurymen had not yet agreed on a verdict, the rule against discharge required that they follow the judge to the next
village, in order to continue their deliberations. “In cases of life and member, if
the jury cannot agree before the Judges depart, they are to be carried in carts after
them; so they may give their verdict out of the county.” The King v. Ledgingham,
86 Eng. Rep. 67 (K.B. 1682). See Commonwealth v. Purchase, 19 Mass. (2 Pick.)
521, 525 (1824).
In addition, at least one court imprisoned a juror unable to agree with the
majority. Thayer, The Jury and Its Development II 5 HARv. L. REv. 295, 297
These practices were disapproved of, however, by American courts concerned
about the potential for coerced verdicts. See Commonwealth v. Purchase, 19
Mass. (2 Pick.) 521, 525-26 (1824); People v. Olcott, 2 Johns. Gas. 301, 309
(N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1801); Commonwealth v. Clue, 3 Rawle 498, 502-03 (Pa. 1831).
The court in Clue reversed the conviction of defendant obtained at a second trial
because of the improper refusal of the first trial judge to allow the jurors food or drink during their deliberations. The court’s failure to provide refreshment
exacerbated the jury’s inability to agree and did not constitute sufficient necessity
to warrant discharge of the jury. Id. 501-03. See also 1 J. Cm=rr, A PnAcTICAL
TREATIS ON Tm CanmmAL LAw 529, 631-34 (Phila. 1819).
26See State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. (1 Hayw.) 241, 241 (1795). See also The
Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. 786, 801 (Q.B. 1861).
27The abuse of this long-standing practice prompted a judicial reaction. See
The Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. at 801-02.
For an example of this practice, see Trial of Ireland (Ireland’s Case), 7 How.
St. Tr. 79 (1678), in which the case of two Jesuit priests, Whitebread and Fenick,
brought to trial with three others for high treason, was removed from the jury’s
consideration “until more proof may come in.” Id. 120. The prisoners were returned to prison and, more evidence apparently having been assembled, were
retried six months later. Trial of Whitebread (Whitebread’s Case), 7 How. St. Tr.
311 (1679). Their claim of former jeopardy fell upon impatient ears, id. 315-17;
trial proceeded and both were convicted. Id. 417-18. They were sentenced to
death and hanged one week later. Trial of Langhorn (Langhom’s Case), 7 How.
St. Tr. 41, 489-90, 501 (1679).
See generally Grist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 42-43 (Powell, J., dissenting);
WVinsor v. The Queen, L.R. 1 Q.B. 289, 304 (1866); The Queen v. Charlesworth,
708 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
no-discharge rule was invoked 2
8 to protect against such abuse and
has remained a part of English jurisprudence as a check against
government harassment and oppression.
A majority29 of the courts in this country, including the Supreme
Court in Perez, took the position that the trial court had
authority to discharge the jury before verdict in cases of evident
or manifest necessity.30 Conversely, absent such necessity, discharge
was improper, and the rule developed that in those cases the defendant
could not be retried.3 1
121 Eng. Rep. 786, 801 (Q.B. 1861); M. FRIDLAND, DoUBLE JEoPAIWY 13-14,
21-25 (1969); J. SiGmiE, DoUBLE JEoPARDY 128 (1969).
Hale not only recognized the practice of discharging the jury for the purpose
of allowing the prosecutor to bolster his case, he favored it, lest justice be frustrated
in cases in which evidence of guilt could have been, but simply was not, mustered.
2 M. HAE, THn HisToRy oF nm PLv.As oF TH CROWN 294-95 (London 1736).
28The rule was announced in the form of a resolution following a meeting
of the judges of England and not as a decision in a particular case. See generally
United States v. Bigelow, 14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 415-16 (1884).
29 See State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. (1 Hayw.) 241, 241 (1795): “[T]he rule
as laid down by my Lord Coke was revived with this addition, that a jury should
not be discharged in a capital case unless for the benefit of the prisoner …. The court in Garrigues barred retrial of defendant following a hung jury. See
note 160 infra. See also In re Spier, 12 N.C. (1 Dev.) 491 (1828).
30 See, e.g., United States v. Coolidge, 25 F. Cas. 622, 623 (C.C.D. Mass.
1815) (No. 14,858); United States v. Workman, 28 F. Cas. 771, 773 (D.C.D.
La. 1807) (No. 16,764); Nugent v. State, 4 Stew. & P. 72, 77 (Ala. 1833); Atkins v. State, 16 Ark. 568, 579 (1855); Stone v. People, 3 Ill. (2 Scam.) 326, 337, 338
(1840); O’Brian v. Commonwealth, 69 Ky. (6 Bush) 563, 568 (1870); Hoffman v. State, 20 Md. 425, 435 (1863); Commonwealth v. Bowden, 9 Mass. 494, 495
(1813); Price v. State, 36 Miss. 531, 543-44 (1858); People v. Denton, 2 Johns.
Cas. 275, 277 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1801); Hurley v. State, 6 Ohio 400, 402-03 (1834);
Commonwealth v. Cook, 6 Serg. & Rawl. 577, 585-86 (Pa. 1822); State v. M’Kee, 17
S.C.L. (1 Bail.) 651, 653 (1830). See also Commonwealth v. Purchase, 19 Mass.
(2 Pick.) 521, 524-25 (1824); People v. Goodwin, 18 Johns. 187, 205 (N.Y. Sup.
Ct. 1820); People v. Olcott, 2 Johns. Cas. 301, 307 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1801); In re
Spier, 12 N.C. (1 Dev.) 491, 499 (1828); Stewart v. State, 15 Ohio St. 155, 161
(1864); Poage v. State, 3 Ohio St. 229, 239-40 (1854).
31 Retrial following an improper discharge of the jury may not have been
barred in this country absent the “blending” of the common law no-discharge rule
with the double jeopardy clause of the Constitution by state and federal courts.
See Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 45 (Powell, J., dissenting).
For example, two early cases in which retrial was barred were Commonwealth v. Cook, 6 Serg. & Rawl, 577 (Pa. 1822), and Commonwealth v. Clue, 3 Rawle 498
(Pa. 1831), both decided in Pennsylvania, a jurisdiction holding that jeopardy
attaches before verdict. Thus, although the court spoke in terms of “manifest
necessity,” it did so in the context of double jeopardy.
In United States v. Shoemaker, 27 F. Cas. 1067 (C.C.D. III. 1840) (No.
16,279), Justice McLean, sitting on circuit, concluded that once the trial had begun,
the prosecutor was not entitled to enter a nolle prosequi because his evidence was
not sufficient to convict. He analogized to the mistrial case, stating that “it would
be absurd to suppose that after evidence given, the prosecutor might be allowed to
withdraw a juror merely because the proof would not amount to conviction.” Id.
1068. Having decided that the case was not within the double jeopardy clause
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
Thus, Perez did not involve application of the double jeopardy
clause; it was simply one step in the developing common law regarding
the propriety of discharging a jury before verdict.32 Indeed,
given its premise that jeopardy did not attach before verdict,
the Supreme Court could not have approached the case otherwise.
Under the Court’s view, the common law rule regarding discharge
of the jury and the double jeopardy bar could never be implicated
in the same case: the no-discharge problem arose only when the
jury was discharged before rendering a verdict; the double jeopardy
problem arose only after a verdict was returned.33
Since Perez, however, the Supreme Court has held that jeopardy
attaches before a verdict is rendered 34
-specifically, when the jury
because defendant was not charged with a capital offense, id., Justice McLean
turned to the question whether other grounds barred retrial. He based his
conclusion-that retrial was barred–on “principle” because he could find no supporting authority. Id. 1069.
See also State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. (1 Hayw.) 241, 241-42 (1795).
32 See United States v. Bigelow, 14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 424-26 (1884):
In short, the alleged rule as to the discharge of a jury, with its alleged
consequences, is not in any sense a part of our constitutional rule. At common law the rule that a person should not be tried twice for the same offence, and the rule concerning the discharge of a jury, whatever it may
have been, were separate and distinct, and even a disregard of the one was not a violation of the other. The first was put into our Constitution;
the other was not.
Contrast the view of Justice Powell that the no-discharge rule was unwittingly
absorbed into the double jeopardy clause: “Thus, the state courts were putting Lord Coke’s rule to a use similar to that of the 17th-century English judges, but
they did so-with no apparent awareness of the novelty of their action-under the
rubric of the Double jeopardy Clause.” Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 46 (Powell, J.,
33 Compare Justice Washington’s words in United States v. Haskell, 26 F. Cas.
207, 212 (C.C.E.D. Pa. 1823) (No. 15,231):
We are in short of opinion, that the moment it is admitted that in cases of
necessity the court is authorised to discharge the jury, the whole argument
for applying this article of the constitution to a discharge of the jury before
conviction and judgment is abandoned, because the exception of necessity
is not to be found in any part of the constitution; and I should consider
this court as stepping beyond its duty in interpolating it into that
instrument, if the article of the constitution is applicable to a case of this
kind. We admit the exception, but we do it because that article does
not apply to a jeopardy short of conviction.
See also United States v. Bigelow, 14 D.C. (3 Mackey) 393, 426 (1884): “[W]e hold that no rule touching the discharge of the jury has, by implication,
been incorporated in or referred to by the [fifth amendment] . . . ” 34 Although it was clear before Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734 (1963),
that in a federal case jeopardy attached before verdict, the exact point at which
it attached had not been fixed. See, e.g., Kepner v. United States, 195 U.S. 100,
[A] person has been in jeopardy when he is regularly charged with a crime
before a tribunal properly organized and competent to try him . …
710 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
is impaneled and sworn.3 5 In so doing, it created an issue that did
not obtain when Perez was decided: the effect of the double
jeopardy clause on the retrial of cases that abort before verdict.
The Court, however, has repeatedly read Perez as if it had established
the standard for resolving the extent of the defendant’s
double jeopardy protection following a mistrial.386 Although recently
acknowledging the likely inaccuracy of that view,3 7 the Court
treated the matter as one “of academic interest only.” 38 In so
doing, it simply compounded error.
Undoubtedly in those jurisdictions where a trial of one accused of crime can only be to a jury, and a verdict of acquittal or conviction must be
by a jury, no legal jeopardy can attach until a jury has been called and
charged with the deliverance of the accused.
See also Gori v. United States, 367 U.S. 364 (1961).
In Downum, however, the Court held that double jeopardy barred retrial of a defendant whose first trial was terminated after the jury had been sworn, but
before any evidence had been introduced. Downum has been read as authority
for the rule that in a federal case jeopardy attaches when the jury is impaneled
and sworn. See United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 569
(1977); Serfass v. United States, 420 U.S. 377, 388 (1975).
WIn 1978, the Supreme Court held that the federal rnle-that jeopardy
attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn-is applicable to the states. Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28 (1978).
In a bench trial, jeopardy attaches when evidence is introduced. Serfass v. United States, 420 U.S. 377 (1975).
3 8 See, e.g., cases cited in notes 2 & 11 supra.
The Supreme Court was not alone in its misreading of Perez. Other courts
and numerous commentators have cited Perez as a fifth amendment case despite
the glaring absence of any reference to the Constitution in Justice Story’s opinion.
See, e.g., United States v. Klein, 582 F.2d 186 (2d Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 439
U.S. 1072 (1979); Nelson v. District Court, 543 F.2d 631 (8th Cir. 1976); United
States ex rel. Stewart v. Hewitt, 517 F.2d 993 (3d Cir. 1975); United States v. Means, 513 F.2d 1329 (8th Cir. 1975); McNeal v. Hollowell, 481 F.2d 1145 (5th
Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 951 (1974); Sanford v. Robbins, 115 F.2d 435
(5th Cir. 1940), cert. denied, 312 U.S. 697 (1941); Pratt v. United States, 102 F.2d
275 (D.C. Cir. 1939); Blair v. White, 24 F.2d 323 (8th Cir. 1928); People ex rel.
Mosley v. Carey, 74 IMI. 2d 527, 387 N.E.2d 325, cert. denied, 444 U.S. 940 (1979);
State v. Lynch, 79 N.J. 327, 399 A.2d 629 (1979).
See, e.g., Wurzburg & Gross, Double Jeopardy: Dismissal and Government
Appeal, 13 GoNz. L. REv. 337, 340 (1978); Note, Double Jeopardy: Discretion of a Trial Judge to Declare a Mistrial on the Basis of a Hung jury, 44 FonnHA,. L.
Rxv. 389 (1975); Comment, The Double jeopardy Dilemma: Reprosecution After
Mistrial on Defendant’s Motion, 63 IowA L. REv. 975, 977 (1978); Comment,
Double Jeopardy and Reprosecution After Mistrial: Is the Manifest Necessity Test
Manifestly Necessary?, 69 Nw. U.L. REv. 887, 892 (1975). But see Silverstein,
Double Jeopardy and Hung Juries: United States v. Castellanos, 5 RurT.-CG M. L.J.
218, 221-22 (1974); Note, Double Jeopardy: The Reprosecution Problem, 77 HARv.
L. REv. 1272, 1276 (1964).
37 Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 34 n.10; see note 4 supra.
3 8 Crist, 437 U.S. at 34 n.10; see note 5 supra.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
II. MANIFEST NEcEsrrY AND DOUBLE JEOPARDY POLICEs
The Supreme Court held in United States v. Perez 39 that the
defendant may be retried if manifest necessity required discharge
of the first jury. Due to the misreading of the case, the Perez common
law rule became constitutional doctrine. Of what significance
is this error? In some cases it is inconsequential; in others, fatal.
Two categories of cases may be posited. Take first those in
which, after the facts are found, the need to terminate the trial
is open to debate.40 In these cases, use of the manifest necessity
test may do little harm. The court can decide the underlying retrial
question on the basis of double jeopardy policies and then
resolve the debatable manifest necessity question accordingly.
The other category of cases, however, involves those in which,
after the facts have been found, the need to discharge the jury
is beyond debate. It is here that the misconstruction of Perez does
its mischief. The court, forced to its conclusion regarding retrial
by the finding of a presence or absence of manifest necessity to
terminate the proceedings, is unable to take double jeopardy policies
The hung jury is the paradigm of the second situation. The
need to terminate the trial is beyond argument. If the jury is
genuinely deadlocked, it should be discharged; 42 forcing it to con-
3022 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 579 (1824). 4 0 See, e.g., Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458 (1973), a case in which the
prosecutor proceeded to trial with a fatally defective indictment. Because any
conviction obtained would be reversed on appeal, it might be argued plausibly
that the necessity to terminate the trial and begin again is manifest. On the
other hand, it might be argued that termination is not necessary because the trial
will not inevitably be for naught: defendant might be acquitted. See also Harris v. Young, 607 F.2d 1081 (4th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1025 (1980);
People v. Benton, 402 Mich. 47, 260 N.W.2d 77 (1977). See generally Mayers &
Yarbrough, Bis Vexari: New Trials & Successive Prosecution, 74 HA~v. L. REv.
1, 3-8 (1960); Comment, Double Jeopardy and Reprosecution After Mistrial: Is
the Manifest Necessity Test Manifestly Necessary?, 69 Nw. U.L. REv. 887, 890
41Even in instances such as this, however-in which the presence or absence
of manifest necessity to terminate is beyond debate once the facts are foundutilization
of manifest necessity as the litmus test is of small practical import as long as the result accords with that which a double jeopardy policy analysis would
produce. At times this may occur. A case involving the death of the trial judge,
for example, is one in which the manifest necessity doctrine, permitting retrial,
does square with constitutional policies.
42 While the point has been debated, beyond cavil the more civilized view is
that which recognizes the need to discharge a genuinely deadlocked jury. See, e.g.,
State v. M’Kee, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bail.) 651, 653 (1830):
The proposition, that the Judge can have them conveyed from Court to
Court, on his circuit, until they do agree, is at war with all our notions,
either of their rights, or of the rules of justice and propriety. It has
712 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW V
tinue deliberations would be pointless. 43 The manifest necessity
test has been met and language cannot be strained to conclude
otherwise. Yet the undeniable fact of manifest necessity to release
a hopelessly deadlocked jury does not logically compel the conclusion
that the state must then enjoy a second opportunity to convict
the defendant. To the contrary, double jeopardy policies
point to the opposite conclusion. Before this can be established,
however, an examination of the policies of the double jeopardy
clause is necessary.
A. The Traditional Balancing
The Supreme Court, in discussing double jeopardy policies,
has frequently spoken of the need to weigh the competing interests
of the defendant and state.45 But what precisely are these interests?
Take first those of the defendant.
never been acted on in this State; and I have no hesitation in saying,
that it is not law. It is equally absurd to say, that the jury must be
starved into a verdict. Their verdict ought to be the result of calm, and
deliberate reflection, and not of force.
Accord, Winsor v. The Queen, L.R. 1 Q.B. 390, 394 (1866). Contra, Ned v. State,
7 Port. 187, 214 (Ala. 1838); State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. (1 Hayw.) 241, 242
(1795); In re Spier, 12 N.C. (1 Dev.) 491, 503 (1828).
During the whole of their absence, [jurymen] are not to eat or drink
without the permission of the justices, . . . And they are not only
prohibited from taking refreshment, but are fineable if they have taken
any thing eatable with them, when they retire, though they have not
actually eaten ….
… And if they do not agree before the judges at the assizes
depart, they may be carried with them from place to place until they
1 J. CmrrY, A P.AccAL TREATXSE ON THE CMIIrAL LAiW 632-34 (2d ed. T.
Huntington 1832) (1st ed. Phila. 1819) (footnotes omitted).
43 Or perhaps dangerous, in view of the possibility of a coerced verdict. See
The Queen v. Charlesworth, 121 Eng. Rep. 786, 802 (Q.B. 1861):
We do take upon ourselves, without the consent of the parties, . . . to
discharge the jury when we are satisfied that they have fully considered
the case and cannot agree; and I hope no Judge will shrink from taking
that course; for, if a jury cannot agree, we ought not to coerce them by
personal suffering, nor ought we to expose parties to the danger of a verdict which is not the result of conviction in the minds of the jury, but
produced by suffering of mind or body.
See also note 42 supra.
44 The double jeopardy clause protects against multiple punishment for the
same offense as well as against multiple trials. This Article focuses on policies
related to the multiple trial problem. For a discussion of the multiple punishment
aspect of double jeopardy, see Westen & Drubel, Toward a General Theory of
Double Jeopardy, 1978 Sup. CT. REv. 81, 106-22.
45 See, e.g., United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 91-94 (1978); Arizona v.
Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 503-05 (1978); Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458, 471
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
In United States v. Green,4 the Court described the purpose
of the double jeopardy bar:
The underlying idea .. .is that the State with all its resources
and power should not be allowed to make repeated
attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense,
thereby subjecting him to embarrassment, expense, and
ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of
anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the possibility
that even though innocent he may be found guilty.47
The interests described in Green as the heart of the defendant’s
double jeopardy protection are thus two: avoiding the strain of
repeated prosecution (his repose interest); and limiting the risk of
The emotional, physical, psychological, and economic 48 harm
visited by a repetition of trials is obvious. 49 As the defendant’s
resources thin, the possibility of presenting an adequate defense
decreases. Further, in a second trial, the defendant must face a
prosecutor whose experience from the first trial may be put to
good use. For example, witnesses may be encouraged to do further
soul-searching or even coached until recollection accords with
prosecutorial goals. 0 These, plus the not insignificant factor of a
(1973); Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736 (1963); Green v. United
States, 355 U.S. 184, 187-88 (1957); Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 689 (1949).
The Court has cautioned, however, that double jeopardy involves neither “a
balancing of the equities,” Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 11 n.6 (1978), nor a “due process sliding ‘interest balancing test,”‘ Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 37
46355 U.S. 184 (1957).
47 Id. 187-88.
8 Even if defendant is ndigent a criminal prosecution may have substantial
economic consequences, especially in states that allow recoupment of assigned
49 Additionally, for defendants who are denied or unable to post bond, retrial
means continued incarceration.
0o And even without coaching, the testimony of witnesses can change subtly
but significantly from one trial to the next. No one wants to look like a fool or a liar. A witness whose testimony was weak will perhaps strengthen it by filling in
gaps or becoming certain of that of which he had previously been less sure. Following is a description of such an occurrence:
ETihe government witnesses came to drop from their testimony impressions
favorable to defendant. Thus a key prosecution witness, the last person to see appellant and the deceased together, who began by testifying that they
had acted that evening like newlyweds on a honeymoon, without an unfriendly word spoken, ended up by saying for the first time in four
trials that the words between them had been “firm,” and possibly harsh
We also note that the police officer who readily acquiesced in the two
“hung jury” trials that appellant was “hysterical,” later withheld that
714 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
different fact-finder, perhaps this time more amenable to the prosecutor’s
point of view,51 can increase the risk that although innocent
the defendant may be convicted. 52
Before turning to the interest of the state, one argument regarding
the scope of the defendant’s interest must be addressed.
In referring to the interest of the accused protected under the
double jeopardy clause, the Court has spoken of the “valued right
to have his trial completed by a particular tribunal.” 53 Because
this valued right has also been described as the “valued right to
go to the first jury” 54 and “perhaps, end the dispute then and there
with an acquittal,” 55 it might be argued that this right extends
only to the opportunity for a verdict rather than to having the
case culminate in a verdict or be terminated for all time.56
If the opportunity for a verdict were the extent of the defendant’s
double jeopardy protection, then the Court’s present resolution
of the hung jury issue is not erroneous. Under this view,
the hung jury question is easily resolved, even as a matter of policy:
the defendant can be retried because he has not been deprived of
his valued right. The case went to the first jury; the defendant
had the opportunity to end the dispute then and there with an
acquittal; the jury refused to do so. Defendant’s interests having
been fully vindicated, no balancing need be done.
In support of this narrower “opportunity” view, it has been
suggested that the defendant’s interest is grounded in the possibility
characterization. This shift, though less dramatic, was by no means inconsequential in view of the significance of appellants condition at the
time he made a statement inconsistent with what he later told another
Carsey v. United States, 392 F.2d 810, 813-14 (D.C. Cir. 1967) (Leventhal, J.,
concurring) (footnotes omitted).
For an excellent discussion of such problems, see J. FRANK & B. FRANK, NOT
Gun-rY 209-11 (1957).
5’ “Without a rule of finality no procession of juries could effectively acquit a
defendant, but a single jury could convict. The prosecutor could keep trying
until he found an accommodating panel.” Comment, Twice in Jeopardy, 75 YAM
LJ. 262, 278 (1965).
52 Alternatively, the defendant may see little choice but to capitulate by entering
a guilty plea.
53Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 689 (1949); accord, Arizona v. Washington,
434 U.S. 497, 503 (1978); United States v. Jon, 400 U.S. 470, 484 (1971)
54United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 100 (1978).
55 United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 484 (1971) (plurality opinion). 56 See also Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 38 (1978) (“the valued right to continue
with the chosen jury); Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458, 471 (1973)
(“the interest of the defendant in having his fate determined by the jury first
impanelled”). Justice Powell, dissenting in Crist, 437 U.S. at 53, refers to it as
“the hitherto unexplained ‘valued right’ to a particular jury.”
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
that the first twelve jurors are favorably disposed to him.5 7 This
notion finds support in neither logic nor the law. No reason exists
to believe that the first twelve jurors will be any more inclined to
acquit than any other twelve drawn by a similar process. 58 Not
every defendant will prefer to have the first twelve decide his fate
simply because they were first. What the defendant would preferand
it is here that the valued right takes on significance-is the
avoidance of a multiplicity of trials, which would not only prolong
the misery of his confrontation with society, but increase the
risk of erroneous conviction as well.
These points have not escaped notice by the Supreme Court.
As Justice Stevens stated in Arizona v. Washington: 59
The reasons why this “valued right” merits constitutional
protection are worthy of repetition. Even if the first trial
is not completed, a second prosecution may be grossly unfair.
It increases the financial and emotional burden on
the accused, prolongs the period in which he is stigmatized
by an unresolved accusation of wrongdoing, and may even
enhance the risk that an innocent defendant may be convicted.6
Justice Stevens is, of course, drawing on the oft-quoted passage
in United States v. Green.61 “Valued right” appears to be a short-
57 “The reason for holding that jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled
and sworn lies in the need to protect the interest of an accused in retaining a chosen jury.” Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 35. The Court has also spoken of “the
importance to the defendant of being able, once and for all, to conclude his confrontation
with society through the verdict of a tribunal he might believe to be
favorably disposed to his fate.” United States v. Jon, 400 U.S. 470, 486 (1971)
(plurality opinion). See also Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458, 472-73 (1973)
(White, J., dissenting). But a leading commentator has noted that the logical ex- tension of this view is that jeopardy should attach at the beginning of the jury
selection process. See Schulhofer, Jeopardy and Mistrials, 125 U. PA. L. REV. 449,
501-04, 512-14 (1977). See also Grist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. at 51 (Powell, J., dissenting):
Moreover, the Double Jeopardy Clause cannot be viewed as a guarantee
of the defendant’s claim to a factfinder perceived as favorably indined
toward his cause. That interest does not bar pretrial reassignment
of his case from one judge to another, even though he may have waived
jury trial on the belief that the original judge viewed his case favorably.
Thus, the Double Jeopardy Clause interest in having his “trial
completed by a particular tribunal,” Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S., at
689, must refer to some interest other than retaining a factfinder thought
to be disposed favorably toward defendant.
5s8 Of course, in a particular case they may in fact be more inclined to the
defendant’s point of view, but the defendant could rarely be sure of this. See
Schulhofer, supra note 57, at 504.
59 434 U.S. 497 (1978).
6OId. 503-04 (footnotes omitted).
61 See text accompanying note 47 supra.
716 UNIVERSIT OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
hand expression representing those interests of the defendant recognized
by the Court in Green as protected by the double jeopardy
clause. 62 A narrow view of the term limiting it to an opportunity
for a verdict of acquittal would, in the hung jury context at least,
simply be inconsistent with the teachings of Green and Washington.
If the defendant’s interests are those recognized by the Court,
his valued right must represent his interest in having his case either
culminate in a verdict or terminate for all time . 3 Were it otherwise,
the accused would be subjected to the psychic and financial
trauma of a second trial in which he would face a prosecutor determined
to present a stronger case than the one that led to an inconclusive
result. The risk is obvious that sooner or later the vigorous
application of the state’s resources could lead to the conviction of
even the blameless. 64
Yet to state that retrial after a hung jury is inconsistent with
vindication of the defendant’s valued right does not necessarily dispose
of the question whether such retrial is constitutionally permissible.
The term “valued right” can be misleading. The Court
does not use it to describe an absolute right, but to represent interests
that, although important, can be overridden by weightier
ones of the state. In Washington, for example, the Court acknowledged
the defendant’s constitutionally protected interest in avoiding
multiple trials-an interest it termed his “valued right.” 65 It stated
nonetheless that the defendant’s interest was sometimes subordinate
to that of the public, which it described as “affording the prosecutor
one full and fair opportunity to present his evidence to an impartial
Of particular concern for present purposes is Justice Stevens’s
dictum in Washington: “[T]he trial judge may discharge a genu-
62The term “valued right” appears to have sprung full blown from the pen of
Justice Black in Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 689 (1949). 63 Arguably, the defendant’s Green interests and his valued right are separate
interests, each protected under the double jeopardy clause. The language in
Washington, however, suggests otherwise. Additionally, it makes no difference
whether the valued right (narrowly viewed) is separate from the Green interests because the Court has never limited the defendant’s double jeopardy protection to
his valued right. Indeed, Green itself supports the opposite conclusion. The
jury was given, but did not return a verdict on, the first degree murder charge. Green enjoyed his opportunity to go to the first jury. Yet the Court concluded that
retrial was barred.
64 See note 51 supra.
65 434 U.S. at 503.
66 Id. 505. Because Washington involved a mistrial entered without defendant’s
consent-the situation in which the Perez doctrine continues to intruderesolution
of the competing interests of defendant and the state was determined by the manifest necessity test. See text accompanying note 71 infra.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
inely deadlocked jury and require the defendant to submit to a
second trial. This rule accords recognition to society’s interest in
giving the prosecution one complete opportunity to convict those
who have violated its laws.” 67 This language is opaque. In a case
culminating in a hung jury, the prosecutor’s opportunity to convict
was complete. All that was lacking was the desired result. Given the
Court’s formula, retrial should be barred: there is no need to
balance the competing interests of the defendant and the state because
the state’s interest has been fully vindicated. Yet the Court’s
conclusion is exactly the reverse: retrial is permissible. 68 Because
the Court is according the prosecutor a second chance to present
his case to a jury, it must be of the view that “opportunity to convict”
extends not only to the opportunity for a verdict, but to a
verdict itself. Put another way, just as a defendant who has gone
through one incomplete trial has a recognized interest in “being
able, once and for all, to conclude his confrontation with society,” 69
so, too, does the state have a legitimate claim to retry him to obtain
a resolution on the merits.7° After a trial culminating in a deadlocked
jury, neither the defendant’s nor the state’s interests have
been fully vindicated. In the hung jury case, as in other mistrials,
the Court’s resolution of this conflict turns on the presence or absence
of a manifest necessity for the mistrial. The Court inevitably
concludes that retrial following a hung jury may occur as a matter
of course because the necessity to discharge a genuinely deadlocked
jury is as manifest as can be.71
If, as this Article suggests, this result is in error, the fault is
not with the formulation of the state’s interest, but with the use of
the manifest necessity doctrine to determine when the state’s interest
overrides that of defendant.72 Justice Stevens’s formulation
actually understates society’s interest. There is nothing inherently
illegitimate in the state’s seeking repeated opportunities to prosecute
those it believes guilty. Any restraint on retrial by the state
must be imposed not because the state’s interest is anything less
67 434 U.S. at 509.
68 Id. 509-10.
69United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 486 (1971) (plurality opinion).
7oThe Court has long recognized “the public’s interest in fair trials designed
to end in just judgments,” Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 689 (1949).
71 See cases cited at notes 2 & 11 supra.
72 Use of the Perez manifest necessity test as constitutional doctrine has been
criticized elsewhere. See, e.g., Schulhofer, Jeopardy and Mistrials, 125 U. PA. L.
1Rv. 449 (1977); Comment, Double Jeopardy and Reprosecution After Mistrial:
Is the Manifest Necessity Test Manifestly Necessary?, 69 Nw. U.L. BEv. 887
718 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
than convicting the guilty-no matter how many trials that may
take-but because the Constitution limits government action in
order to safeguard individual interests.3
B. Double Jeopardy Limits on Government Action
The state’s prosecutorial interest is considerable and, unsurprisingly,
at loggerheads with the defendant’s valued right. The
solution to the hung jury problem lies in determining how the
standoff should be resolved. Pointing to the inevitable presence
of a manifest necessity to discharge a deadlocked jury simply forecloses
analysis. Rather, the matter must be determined under
double jeopardy policies-that is, policies that will indicate the
weight to be assigned the conflicting interests of the defendant and
the state. These policies can be found by analyzing cases falling
into four categories: unavoidable mistrials; mistrials caused by
prosecutorial error; acquittals and reversed convictions; 74 and dismissals.7
5 The effect of double jeopardy policy on the hung jury
question can then be considered and the thesis of this Article
demonstrated: resolution of the hung jury issue continues to be
plagued by historical accident” and is wholly inconsistent with
current double jeopardy doctrine.
73 “[Slociety’s awareness of the heavy personal strain which a criminal trial
represents for the individual defendant is manifested in the willingness to limit the
Government to a single criminal proceeding to vindicate its very vital interest in
enforcement of criminal laws.” United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 479 (1971). For the view that the purpose of the double jeopardy clause is to protect the individual
by limiting the prosecutorial power of the state, see J. SiGLin, DoUBr_ JEoPARDY passim (1969).
74These include cases in which, after a full trial, the judge or jury, as trier of
fact, returns either a verdict of guilty that is reversed on appeal or a verdict of
acquittal, see, e.g., Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1 (1978); United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662 (1896); those in which the trial court directs the jury to enter a verdict of acquittal, see, e.g., Fong Foo v. United States, 369 U.S. 141 (1961); and those in which the trial court itself enters a verdict of acquittal, whether before
the case is submitted to the jury, see, e.g., Sanabria v. United States, 437
U.S. 54 (1978); note 75 infra, after the jury has returned a verdict of guilty,
see, e.g., United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332 (1975), or where the jury is
genuinely deadlocked, see, e.g., United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S.
75 Arguably, the Court does not treat the dismissal cases as a separate category,
but instead includes them within various other recognized groups of cases.
For example, in Lee v. United States, 432 U.S. 23 (1977), the Court found the
trial court’s dismissal of the indictment “functionally indistinguishable from a
declaration of mistrial at the defendant’s request.” Id. 31. Accord, United States
v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82 (1978) (dismissal entered on defendant’s motion on a basis
unrelated to guilt or innocence treated as defendant’s motion for mistrial).
76 See notes 8-38 supra & accompanying text.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
1. Unavoidable Mistrials
As stated above, cases in which the need to discharge the jury
is beyond dispute teach little about double jeopardy policy because
the manifest necessity test is necessarily dispositive.7 7 For example,
an unexpected and untoward event that is the fault of none of the
participants may disrupt the normal trial process38 The judge79
or a juror 8 0 may become incapacitated or juror bias may be discovered.
81 Because there is no alternative to termination of the
proceedings, the prosecutor is permitted to present his case again.
That retrial is permitted here, as after a hung jury, is simply due
to the undeniable existence of a manifest necessity to end the first
trial.82 Conversely, if the trial judge feels impelled to terminate a
trial to enjoy a long-anticipated holiday, the lack of manifest necessity
is beyond dispute, and retrial is proscribed.8 3
7See text accompanying notes 41-44 supra.
78 While technically the hung jury case is a mistrial, it differs in a significant
way from other cases included in this category. Each of the other cases involves an unexpected, unforeseen event that interrupts the normal trial process, an event
that has been characterized as a breakdown in the judicial machinery: for example,
the judge dies or is taken ill, juror bias is discovered, or it becomes impossible
to hold the trial at the place or time originally scheduled. See Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684 (1949). The hung jury, however, does not result from this
kind of event. Nor is it unexpected, occurring in approximately one of every
twenty trials. See note 7 supra. Additionally, the judicial machinery has not
broken down, but has run its full course. The jurors engaged in uninterrupted deliberations;
they simply failed to agree.
Thus, even if manifest necessity is deemed to represent an acceptable accom- modation of the competing interests of defendant and the state in the usual mistrial
case, it should be recognized that the hung jury is a mistrial in form only; substantively
it does not fit the mistrial mold for double jeopardy purposes.
See generally Stream, Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment,
N.Y.L.J., pt. 1, Sept. 30, 1970, at 1, col. 3; pt. 2, Oct. 1, 1970, at 1, col. 3; pt.
3, Oct. 2, 1970, at 1, col. 3 (especially pt. 3).
79 See, e.g., Freeman v. United States, 237 F. 815 (2d Cir. 1916). 80 See, e.g., United States v. Potash, 118 F.2d 54 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 313
U.S. 584 (1941).
81See, e.g., Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497 (1978) (prejudicial and
improper comment by defense counsel during opening argument); Thompson v. United States, 155 U.S. 271 (1894) (juror a member of grand jury that returned
indictment against defendant); Simmons v. United States, 142 U.S. 148 (1891)
(juror acquainted with defendant). 82 As stated earlier in this Article, there may be leeway in finding the facts.
To the extent this is possible, a finding of manifest necessity may be nothing more
than a conclusion. See, e.g., Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 511 (1978).
But see United States v. Whitlow, 110 F. Supp. 871 (D.D.C. 1953), in which re- trial was barred following the trial court’s sua sponte declaration of a mistrial over defendant’s objection because of misconduct of defense counsel.
3 See, e.g., People v. Michael, 48 N.Y.2d 1, 394 N.E. 1134, 420 N.Y.S.2d
371 (1979). For more information on this case, see Plea By Fraiman To Alter
Rebuke Denied by Court, N.Y. Times, Sept. 25, 1979, § B, at 1, col. 6; Fraiman
Offered to Shift Holiday and Finish Trial, N.Y. Times, July 14, 1979, § A, at 21,
720 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
Examples of each type of case can be readily multiplied. All
have a common theme: in none does double jeopardy policy have a
role to play, although, of course, the result required under the manifest
necessity test may coincide with that reached under a double
2. Mistrials Caused by Prosecutorial Error
A different case is presented when a mistrial is declared without
the defendant’s consent because of prosecutorial error.8 4 As in
other mistrial cases, resolution of the case may be framed simply in
terms of whether a manifest necessity existed to terminate the trial.8 5
In these cases, however, the test has sufficient play in its joints to
permit policy concerns to operate.”6
Downum v. United States 87 and Illinois v. Somerville 88 are
illustrative. In Downum, the jury was sworn, but trial had not
otherwise begun, when the prosecutor discovered that one of his
key witnesses was not present.8 9 The prosecutor’s motion to discharge
the jury was granted over defendant’s objection, and the
proceedings were begun again two days later.90 Retrial was barred
by the Supreme Court.91 In Somerville, after the jury had been
sworn, the prosecutor noticed a jurisdictional defect in the indictment
that could not be waived or cured by amendment.92 Because
any conviction obtained under the indictment would be reversed on
appeal, the prosecutor’s motion for a mistrial was granted over the
defendant’s objection. 93 In this instance, termination was deemed
cal. 6; Behavior of 2 judges Is Criticized As Court Reverses 3 Convictions, N.Y.
Times, July 11, 1979, § A, at 1, col. 1.
84 In cases in which a mistrial has been granted at defendant’s request because
of prosecutorial error or misconduct, the manifest necessity test is not dispositive.
Rather, according to dictum in Dinitz, the question is whether the
prosecutor in bad faith “provoke[d]” the mistrial request “so as to afford the
prosecution a more favorable opportunity to convict.” United States v. Dinitz,
424 U.S. 600, 611 (1976) (quoting Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736
(1963)). For a discussion of this category of cases, see text accompanying notes
85 See, e.g., Illinois v. Somerville, 410 U.S. 458, 469 (1973); United States v.
Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 487 (1971); Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736
86 See also People v. Benton, 402 Mich. 47, 260 N.W.2d 77 (1977).
87372 U.S. 734 (1963).
88410 U.S. 458 (1973).
89 372 U.S. at 735.
91 Id. 738.
92410 U.S. at 459-60.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
manifestly necessary, and the prosecutor was granted a second opportunity
Yet whether the absence of a key prosecution witness or a defective
indictment constitutes a manifest necessity to terminate the
trial is open to debate.95 In Somerville, the Court made clear that
the question of retrial turned on Green policies,9 6 particularly that
of reducing the risk of unjust conviction. The Court, contrasting
the ground for termination in Downum, stated that the Somerville
error would not “lend itself to prosecutorial manipulation.” 11 It
could not be used to abort a trial that is not going well and thus
“allow the prosecution an opportunity to strengthen its case.” 98
This concern is not one the Court takes lightly. As it said in
Washington: “The prohibition against double jeopardy unquestionably
‘forbids the prosecutor to use the first proceeding as a trial run
of his case.’ “99
While condemning this practice in Somerville, the Court permitted
retrial after a mistrial due to a fatally defective indictment.
00 In so doing, it subjected the accused to the risk that
the prosecutor could strengthen his case as a result of his experience
in the prior proceeding. Yet this danger, which exists whenever
retrial occurs, was not deemed sufficient to compel disregard of the
state’s desire to avenge violations of its laws. The Court is distinguishing
cases involving error that “lend[s] itself to prosecutorial
manipulation,” 101 in which retrial is barred because it would
allow the state the forbidden “opportunity to strengthen its case,” 102
95 As the dissenters in Somerville pointed out, proceeding with the trial would
not necessarily have been for naught; the defendant might have been acquitted,
thus ending his confrontation with society once and for all. Id. 474-75 (White, J.,
Similarly, in Downum the Court cautioned that it was not saying that missing
prosecution witnesses can never justify declaration of a mistrial. 372 U.S. at 737.
96 See text accompanying note 47 supra.
97410 U.S. at 464.
There is nothing to suggest that the prosecutor in Downum deliberately failed
to secure the presence of his witness. He did, apparently, kmowing that his witness
was not present, allow the jury to be impaneled and sworn, see Arizona v.
Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 508 n.24 (1978), but he did not permit opening statements
to be made or any evidence to be presented.
99 434 U.S. at 508 n.24 (quoting Note, Twice in Jeopardy, 75 YALE L.J. 262,
100 Downum, 410 U.S. at 459.
101 Somerville, 410 U.S. at 464.
102 Id. 469.
722 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEWo
from other mistrials in which retrial is permitted despite the fact
that the prosecutor would appear to enjoy a similar opportunity.
The distinction rests in the relative threat posed by each type
of case to the defendant’s Green interest in minimizing the risk of
unjust conviction. While all repeated prosecutions undermine the
defendant’s repose interest, the additional factor of a prosecutor
determined to shore-up feared or demonstrated weaknesses in his
case so skews the normal trial process that it unacceptably enhances
the risk of unjust conviction. Because the circumstances
of the mistrial in Somerville did not suggest that the prosecutor
was seeking to terminate a trial he sensed was going badly ‘ 0 3 or
that he had any reason to believe that anything different should
be done upon retrial, the Court saw no reason to stem the ongoing
course of the criminal process. Whenever the prosecutor secures
an opportunity to obtain new evidence, or simply to polish that
which he already had in light of events at the first trial, for presentation
to a different, perhaps more sympathetic jury, the defendant’s
Green interest in limiting the risk of unjust conviction becomes
deserving of great respect and tips the scales against retrial.
A similar concern regarding the risk of unjust conviction
can be seen in those cases involving a mistrial provoked by prosecutorial
or judicial “overreaching,” 104 but granted on the defend-
0 3 The prosecutor in Somerville had no reason to doubt the strength of his
case; there was no indication that any of his witnesses were missing and no evidence
had yet been presented. Indeed, the type of error in Somerville does not lend itself to manipulation
because, unlike error that can be introduced once trial has begun, it exists from
the outset without regard to how well or poorly the state’s case is proceeding. Admittedly, the prosecution could benefit from deliberately building in such error-were it possible to do so-gaining a preview of defendant’s case by using the first trial as an extraordinary discovery process and also a rehearsal of his own presentation. But because it would be difficult for the prosecution deliberately to secure a defective indictment, and any conviction obtained under such circumstances
would be reversed on appeal, it is most unlikely that a prosecutor would so act.
If he is determined to secure for himself the option of the forbidden “trial run,”
he will do so in circumstances that allow him to preserve any victory he might obtain the first time round. That is, while a prosecutor could deliberately build
in error of the type in Somerville to gain some “tactical advantage” over the
defendant, Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 508 (1978), the chance that
he would do so at the cost of being unable to convict is minimal. The greater
danger relates to error that can be introduced during trial when the prosecutor senses that his case is not going well so as to secure an opportunity to begin again. Cf. Westen and Drubel, Toward A General Theory of Double Jeopardy, 1978
Sup. CT. REv. 81, 93 n.68 (built-in error in Somerville was not capable of
manipulation because prosecutor brought it to attention of court before defendant’s
case had been presented).
104 United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 485 n.12 (1971) (Harlan, J., plurality
opinion). Mistrials provoked by prosecutorial “overreaching” were also recognized
in dictum in United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 611 (1976). The Court has
not yet decided a case involving a successful claim of overreaching. See Divans v. California, 434 U.S. 1303 (1977).
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
ant’s motion. As a general rule, there is no constitutional bar to
retrial following a mistrial requested by the defendant: 105 because
he chose to terminate the first trial, the defendant cannot complain
when he is retried. 06 If the defendant is forced to request a mistrial
because of official overreaching, however, retrial is barred.10 7
Precisely what type of prosecutorial or judicial misconduct
constitutes “overreaching” has not yet been determined.108 The
Court has expressed itself on the question only in dictum. 0 9 Although
it is not clear how broad this notion is, it at least embraces
“governmental action intended to provoke mistrial requests . . .
‘so as to afford the prosecution a more favorable opportunity to
convict the defendant.’ “110 Here, as in other mistrial cases, the
prosecutor may not utilize the first trial as a dry run. To permit
him to do so would raise the specter of unjust conviction. The
mere opportunity to improve his case the second time round is
not decisive. It is instead that opportunity under circumstances
in which the prosecutor either fears or knows his case is not going
well and will, therefore, make an extraordinary effort to remedy
3. Acquittals and Reversed Convictions
Looking next at cases in which double jeopardy issues arise
after entry of a verdict, the first to be examined are those in which
105 The manifest necessity test is not used in cases involving a mistrial declared
on defendant’s motion. United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 607 (1976).
106OThe Court has rejected “traditional waiver concepts” as justification for
permitting retrial where defendant requests termination of a trial “tainted by
prejudicial judicial or prosecutorial error,” emphasizing instead the fact that “the
defendant retain[s] primary control over the course to be followed in the event
of such error.” United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 609 (1976) (footnote
omitted). It is difficult to understand the difference between “waiver” and choosing
a particular course of events in this context. Indeed, the concept of waiver would seem to explain the result not only in these cases, but also in those involving
appellate reversal of conviction on grounds other than insufficiency of the evidence.
See Comment, Double Jeopardy and Reprosecution After Mistrial: Is the Manifest
Necessity Test Manifestly Necessary?, 69 Nw. U.L. REv. 887, 889 (1975); text
accompanying notes 127-36 infra.
107 United States v. Jorn, 400 U.S. 470, 485 n.12 (1971) (Harlan, J., plurality
opinion). See also United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 611 (1976). ‘
0 See generally Comment, The Double Jeopardy Clause and Mistrials Granted
on Defendant’s Motion: What Kind of Prosecutorial Misconduct Precludes
Reprosecution?, 18 DUQ. L. REv. 103 (1979); Comment, The Double Jeopardy
Dilemma: Reprosecution After Mistrial on Defendant’s Motion, 63 IowA L. Rev.
102 See cases cited note 104 supra.
110 United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 611 (1975) (quoting Downum v.
United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736 (1963)).
724 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
the defendant was acquitted.111 As the Court has repeatedly stated:
“The constitutional protection against double jeopardy unequivocally
prohibits a second trial following an acquittal.” 112
This absolute bar does not inexorably follow from the language
in the fifth amendment.113 Although the bar to retrial fol-
-11 A defendant is acquitted when there is “a resolution [in the defendant’s
favor], correct or not, of some or all of the factual elements of the offense charged.” United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 96-97 (1978) (quoting United States v. Martin
Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 571 (1977)).
In Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184 (1957), the Court found an “implied acquittal” of first degree murder and held that retrial for first degree murder was barred where the defendant was charged with first degree murder, found guilty of
second degree murder and his conviction reversed on appeal. For the significance of Green for the hung jury issue, see note 150 infra.
1 1 2 Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 503 (1978); accord, Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 10-11 (1978); Sanabria v. United States, 437 U.S. 54, 64 (1978); United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 88 (1978); United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 571 (1977); Fong Foo v. United States, 369 U.S. 141, 143 (1962); Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 188 (1957); Kepner v. United States, 195 U.S. 100, 130 (1904); United States v. Ball, 163
U.S. 662, 669-70 (1896). The Court has described this absolute bar on retrial following an acquittal as “[plerhaps the most fundamental rule in the history of double jeopardy juris- prudence.” United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. at 571.
113 The Supreme Court has properly eschewed a literal interpretation of the
double jeopardy clause. A literal approach, barring retrial in all cases, inadequately accommodates society’s interest in convicting those who have violated the law, and
would be at odds with the defendant’s right to a fair trial. For an instance in
which a literal reading of the double jeopardy clause worked to the substantial
detriment of the defendant, see United States v. Gibert, 25 F. Cas. 1287 (C.C.D. Mass. 1834) (No. 15,204), discussed in note 16 supra. The legislative history shows that the double jeopardy clause was not intended
to deprive the defendant of his ability to obtain a new trial following reversal of
his conviction. See I ANNAxs OF CONG. 781-82 (Gales & Seaton eds. 1789). See
generally J. SIGLER, DouBLE JEoPARDY 23-27 (1969). Of course, according the
defendant the right to appeal an erroneous conviction is not inconsistent with barring
retrial should his appeal be successful. The Court, however, rejected this
result out of hand. See United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662 (1896). Given the Court’s conclusion that the defendant may be retried following reversal of his conviction, logic might suggest that retrial following appeal by the
state would likewise be constitutionally permissible. In fact, a number of com- mentators have argued that logic and policy support affording the prosecutor the
opportunity to appeal an erroneous acquittal. See note 118 infra. The ALI draft provides for appeal by the state from an acquittal. ALI,
ADSmmNsTOATrN OF ThE CnmminAr LAw: DouBLE JEOPARDY § 13 (Off. Draft, 1935). It approves Justice Holmes’s concept of “continuing jeopardy,” Kepner v. United States, 195 U.S. 100, 134 (1904) (Holmes, J., dissenting), concluding that
retrial following a successful appeal by the state is not a second prosecution for
the same offense, but merely a continuation of the original trial.
This concept of continuing jeopardy-which would view a trial as continuing until a final judgment is entered-would justify retrial following an appeal by the
state, as well as retrial following a hung jury. The Court, however, explicitly rejected it in Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S. 519, 534 (1975). But see United States v. Larkin, 605 F.2d 1360, 1368-69 (5th Cir. 1979). Holmes’s concept has been
used, nonetheless, to explain why the double jeopardy bar does not prevent retrial
of a defendant who has secured reversal of a conviction. See Price v. Georgia, 398 U.S. 323, 326-27 (1970).
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
lowing acquittal finds its historical roots in the common law plea
of autrefois acquit 14 recent opinions emphasizing the finality of
acquittals do so on the basis of the defendant’s Green interests,115
and correctly so. These interests are heavily implicated in acquittals
and to permit retrial would seriously undermine them: no jury
could ever finally acquit, and sooner or later, through attrition,
luck or otherwise, 116 the prosecutor could in all probability obtain
a conviction. It is no answer to say that no harm is done by
the trial run because the prosecutor, by beefing up his case, does
what every good lawyer would do and merely secures the conviction
he should have obtained the first time round. The second
trial is not simply what the first should have been. While there
is always the danger that retrial of a financially and emotionally
114 In the seventeenth century Coke wrote of double jeopardy as an established
part of the common law. 3 E. Coms, INsTrrUTEs 210-13 (London 1644); 3 E.
CoxE, INSTrruirs 310-13 (6th ed. London 1680) (1st ed. London 1644). See
also M. HALE, PLPCs OF TmE CROWN 146-51 (London 1678). By the late
eighteenth century, Blackstone observed that it was a “universal maxim” of English common law that “no man is to be brought into jeopardy of his life, more than once for the same offense.” 4 W. Br.icsToNE, Com rmnm s 329 (Oxford 1766).
See also W. H.AwmNs, PLmts OF THE CnowN 312 (7th ed. London 1795) (1st
ed. London 1716).
The common law prohibition against double jeopardy was embodied in the
special pleas in bar that prevented further proceedings following a final verdict.
The most important of those pleas were autrefois acquit and autrefois convict.
See M. HALE, P.EAs OF T=E CROWN 244-49 (London 1678); 4 W. BLAcrsToN,
COmavmNTAES 329-30 (Oxford 1766). Coke also included the plea of former
pardon, 3 E. Corn, Insirrums 213-14 (6th ed. London 1680) (1st ed. London
1644), and Chitty included the plea of attainder, 1 J. Cmrr, A PaacncAL
TREATISE ON THE CmhnNAL LAW 463-67 (Phila. 1819). See also Comment, Twice
in Jeopardy, 75 YALE L.J. 262, 262 n.1 (1965). The pleas primarily reflected a res judicata policy of finality: a person could not be retried if he had been previously
acquitted or convicted of the same offense. If, however, criminal proceed- ings for any reason terminated before a verdict, the defendant could not complain.
The only defense against reprosecution at common law was by special plea; because no verdict had been rendered, neither autrefois acquit nor autrefois convict was
For the history of double jeopardy generally, see M. F=uDnAND, Douim
JEOPARDY 5-15 (1969); J. SIcLFR, DoUBiL JEoPARDY 1-37 (1969).
115 See, e.g., United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 91 (1978). Compare this
somewhat dubious rationale for the absolute bar on retrial following an acquittal:
The public interest in the finality of criminal judgments is so strong that an acquitted defendant may not be retried even though “the acquittal was based upon an egregiously erroneous foundation.” . . . If the innocence
of the accused has been confirmed by a final judgment, the Constitution
conclusively presumes that a second trial would be unfair.
Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 503 (1978) (citation omitted). Quaere: in
what sense does an erroneous acquittal confirm the innocence of the accused?
116 This danger has long been recognized: “[Allow this right to the Solicitor,
and the prosecutor is prepared, by the first trial, to meet all the points of the
prisoner’s defence, and even to shape his own testimony to conviction. This would
be making the Court hold out every inducement to perjury, and subornation of
perjury … .” State v. M’Kee, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bail.) 651, 655 (1830).
726 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
exhausted defendant will produce an improper result, the risk of
unjust conviction becomes intolerable when we add the factor
of a revanchist prosecutor determined to win his case.
The solicitude with which the Court regards the defendant’s
Green interests is further illustrated by the Court’s application
of this absolute proscription on retrial following an acquittal 117 to
cases in which it is conceded that the acquittal was erroneous. 18
Those cases are quite correct. For even where it might be argued
plausibly that the defendant was erroneously acquitted, retrial
would pose an unacceptably high risk of unjust conviction.
Suppose, for example, an acquittal is tainted with judicial error
favoring the defendant on matters such as the charge to the jury,
the admissibility of evidence or, more dramatically, a directed
verdict of acquittal. With respect to his guilt or innocence, the
117A corollary of this absolute bar on retrial is the rule that denies the state
the opportunity to appeal from an acquittal. United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82,
91 (1978). An exception is recognized for appeal from a judgment of acquittal
entered by the trial court following a jury verdict of guilty. No retrial would be
required because the original verdict can be reinstated. See United States v.
Wilson, 420 U.S. 332 (1975); cf. United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co.,
430 U.S. 564 (1977) (no appeal from directed verdict of acquittal following hung
jury). For a discussion of permitting the state to appeal from an erroneous acquittal,
see note 118 infra.
11 See, e.g., Sanabria v. United States, 437 U.S. 54 (1978); Fong Foo v. United States, 369 U.S. 141 (1962).
The rule in England has not always been so. Hale noted that a plea of au- trefois acquit barred a subsequent indictment on the same felony “unless [the] appeal
be erroneous in substance.” M. HALE, PLEAs OF TnE CRowN 206 (London
A number of commentators have argued that the state should be permitted
to appeal erroneous acquittals in some circumstances. See AL, AD- INISTRATION OF THE CBIINAL LAv: DOUBLE JEOPABY § 13 (Off. Draft,
1935); Comley, Former Jeopardy, 35 Y=LE L.J. 674 (1926); Kirchheimer,
The Act, The Offense and Double Jeopardy, 58 YAI.L L.J. 513, 542-43 (1949);
Mayers & Yarbrough, Bis Vexari: New Trials and Successive Prosecutions, 74 HAmv.
L. REv. 1, 13-16 (1960); Comment, Statutory Implementation of Double Jeopardy
Clauses: New Life for a Moribund Constitutional Guarantee, 65 YALE L.J. 339,
362-63 (1956). See also Kepner v. United States, 195 U.S. 100, 134-37 (1904)
(Holmes, J., dissenting).
The Supreme Court has held that such appeals do not violate the fourteenth
amendment. Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1957). After Palko, however,
the Court decided that the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment is applicable
to the states. Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784 (1969). Prior to
Benton, three states, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin, had statutes permitting
the prosecutor to appeal from an acquittal for errors of law. All three upheld their
statutes as a matter of state law. See State v. Lee, 65 Conn. 265, 30 A. 1110
(1894) (common law double jeopardy); State v. Felch, 92 Vt. 477, 104 A. 23
(1918) (common law double jeopardy); State v. Witte, 243 Wis. 423, 10 N.W.2d
117 (1943) (state constitution); cf. State v. Evjue, 254 Wis. 581, 37 N.W.2d 50
(1949) (state cannot appeal trial court determination of not guilty if the trial was
free from procedural errors of law even though verdict is clearly contrary to weight
of evidence). The constitutionality of such appeals under the fifth amendment seems dubious at best.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
defendant is in approximately the same position he was before trial.
The state’s interest in prosecuting him is as significant as it was
then and his desire to be sent home of no greater moment than
that of any defendant whose trial has not yet begun. Retrial following
such an acquittal is not, however, constitutionally permissible,
no matter how grievous the alleged error. For, as the
Court has recognized, even a defendant whose acquittal could be
reversed on appeal has a substantial interest in avoiding retrial lest
he be unjustly convicted the second time round: “To permit a
second trial after an acquittal, however mistaken the acquittal may
have been, would present an unacceptably high risk that the Government,
with its vastly superior resources, might wear down the defendant
so that ‘even though innocent he may be found guilty.’ “19
Not only would the defendant be worn down by the strain of
one complete trial, but he would also have to face a prosecutor
determined not to lose again. To be sure, the acquittal was
tainted by judicial rather than prosecutorial error, but this may be
of small comfort to the prosecutor. The prosecutor can never
be certain that the judicial error was the sole cause of the verdict.
For example, if the error lay in a directed verdict of acquittal, the
prosecutor may nevertheless interpret the incorrect direction of
acquittal as suggesting that his case could be stronger. He will
scrutinize both his own and the defendant’s case in preparation for
a second round. The grant of this extraordinary opportunity, so at
variance with the normal trial process, and the earnestness with
which the prosecutor can be expected to seek to exploit it, operate
to “present an unacceptably high risk” 120 that an innocent defendant
may be convicted.
Nor does the state’s interest in convicting the guilty compel a
contrary result. Although trials are an imperfect method of arriving
at truth, there are worse ones.121 The risk that some trials will
be tainted with error and some scoundrels will go free is a tolerable
price to pay for protection of the defendant’s Green interests. 22
119United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 91 (1978) (quoting Green v. United
States, 355 U.S. 184, 188 (1957)).
120 United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. at 91.
2 1 For example, trial by compurgation, battle or ordeal See generally I
W. HoLDswoRTH, A HrSToRY OF ENGLISH LAW 305-11 (7th ed. rev. 1956); L.
LoVY, Osunios OF THE FiFmm AmENDmNT 5-7 (1968); 2 F. POLoc0 & F. MAnTLAND,
THE I-IsToRY OF ENGLISH LAw 598-601 (2d ed. 1898).
122 Although the prisoner, if unfortunately guilty, may escape punishment
in consequence of the decision this day made in his favor, yet it should
be remembered that the same decision may be a bulwark of safety to those
who, more innocent, may become the subjects of persecution, and whose
728 UNIVERSI7T OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
The concern that retrials would engender a spate of unjust convictions
is a matter of considerable moment in acquittal cases and
clearly overrides the state’s relatively limited interest in pursuing
the matter further. 23
Before turning to the dismissal cases, one other full-trial situation,
the reversed conviction, remains to be considered. If the
defendant’s conviction is reversed on appeal for insufficiency of the
evidence, retrial is barred. 24 If protection of the defendant’s interests
requires a limit to one trial when the jury acquits, a fortiori
the same limitation should apply following a determination that
the prosecutor has failed to put in enough evidence even to warrant
submission of the case to the jury. 25 As the Supreme Court has
recently stated, this prohibition of “a second trial for the purpose
of affording the prosecution another opportunity to supply evidence
which it failed to muster in the first proceeding [is] central” to the
double jeopardy bar on multiple prosecutions. 26
conviction, if not procured on one trial, might be secured on a second or
third, whether they were guilty or not.
In re Spier, 12 N.C. 329, 331, 1 Dev. 491, 493 (1828).
123 Additionally, in the acquittal case, special deference is paid to the defendants
repose interest. Post-acquittal procedures to uncover trial error are generally
prohibited. In United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662, 671 (1896), the Court stated
that a verdict of acquittal not only precluded retrial, but also “could not be reviewed,
on error or otherwise, without putting [the defendant] twice in jeopardy,
and thereby violating the Constitution.” But nearly eighty years later, the Court
held that the government could appeal from a directed verdict of acquittal entered
after the jury had returned a verdict of guilty. United States v. Wilson, 420
U.S. 332 (1975).
It might be argued under Wilson that an appeal by the state does not in and
of itself violate double jeopardy. That is, as long as the defendant is not retried, his
double jeopardy guarantee is not violated. Hence, an appeal not only would be permitted
in cases in which retrial is unnecessary, but also would be available to
any prosecutor who sought simply to demonstrate that defendant’s acquittal was
tainted with error. Such an appeal might, of course, be barred for other reasons,
such as judicial economy.
On the other hand, Ball and Wilson, read together, can be fairly seen as
barring an appeal in all cases in which retrial is constitutionally impermissible. This
would appear to be the better view. Under the Criminal Appeals Act, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3731 (1976), the prosecutor in a federal case may not appeal a ruling favorable
to the defendant if the double jeopardy clause proscribes further prosecution.
The Court has recognized that the double jeopardy clause protects against
prolongation of the period during which the defendant is “stigmatized by an unresolved
accusation of wrongdoing.” Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 504
(1978) (citations omitted). The availability of a post-acquittal review would condemn
all defendants to a continuing state of anxiety. Nor would such anxiety be
unfounded. Few, if any, trials are totally error-free. Most of the acquitted could,
without the prosecutor subjecting himself to charges of bad faith, be put to a substantial
prolongation of their ordeal, at least through the slowly grinding mill of
the appellate process.
124 Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1 (1978).
125 Id. 16.
126 Id. 11.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
More frequently, the defendant obtains a reversal of his conviction
on grounds other than sufficiency of the evidence, and the
prosecutor may retry him.127 This case is readily distinguishable
from a reversal for insufficient evidence.128 In the insufficient evidence
case, the prosecutor knows that he has failed to present
sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. A second trial would
provide the opportunity for a revanchist prosecutor to remedy the
defect in his proofs, an opportunity that the double jeopardy clause
forbids. 29 For the same reason, convictions reversed on grounds
other than insufficiency of the evidence are distinguishable from
the acquittal cases. Justice Rehnquist has stated that “to require a
criminal defendant to stand trial again after he has successfully invoked
a statutory right of appeal to upset his first conviction is not
an act of governmental oppression of the sort against which the
Double Jeopardy Clause intended to protect.” 130 This statement
suggests, with justification, that the Green interests in this instance
are subordinate to those of the state. The repose interests of
defendants who have been convicted, albeit after imperfect trials,
do not equate to those of defendants whose trials culminated in
127 United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662 (1896).
The Court has rejected as a rationale for this rule the view that jeopardy
“continues” until defendant’s conviction is final. See Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S.
519, 534 (1977). It has also refused to apply a traditional waiver analysis to
determine whether retrial is barred following reversal of a conviction. See United
States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 609 n.11 (1976). See notes 106 & 113 supra.
Permitting retrial following reversal of the defendant’s conviction has been ex- plained as “fairer to both the defendant and the Government” than raising the
double jeopardy bar. United States v. Tateo, 377 U.S. 463, 466 (1964).
Corresponding to the right of an accused to be given a fair trial is the so- cietal interest in punishing one whose guilt is clear after he has obtained
such a trial. It would be a high price indeed for society to pay were every accused granted immunity from punishment because of any defect
sufficient to constitute reversible error in the proceedings leading to conviction.
From the standpoint of a defendant, it is at least doubtful that
appellate courts would be as zealous as they now are in protecting against
the effects of improprieties at the trial or pretrial stage if they knew
that reversal of a conviction would put the accused irrevocably beyond
the reach of further prosecution. In reality, therefore, the practice of re- trial serves defendants’ rights as well as society’s interest.
Id. See also United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332, 343 n.11 (1975).
Whether appellate courts would less sedulously guard defendant’s due process
right to a fair trial were retrial barred need not be determined. The “fairness”
issue can be pretermitted because the reversed conviction cases can be explained
on the basis of double jeopardy policies alone. See text accompanying notes 128-35
infra.1 28 See text accompanying notes 125 & 126 supra.
129 See Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 737 (1963); Comero v.
United States, 48 F.2d 69 (9th Cir. 1931); United States v. Watson, 28 F. Cas.
499 (C.C.S.D.N.Y. 1868) (No. 16,651); United States v. Shoemaker, 27 F. Cas.
1067 (C.C.D. Ill 1840) (No. 16,279).
130 United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 91 (1978).
730 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
acquittals.13 1 While any defendant who has been subjected to one
trial has an understandable desire to avoid a second, one instinctively
feels that the claim has greater force when pressed on behalf
of those who are more likely to be innocent. When there has been
no indication of factual innocence, 3 2 the anxiety and expense of a
second trial must be endured. 33
Further, the prosecutor need not feel he certainly must do a
better job on retrial 3 4 The rate of reconviction following reversal
on appeal is sufficiently high to warrant an assumption that, unless
key defense evidence has been excluded, reconviction is the likely
result. 35 The prosecutor therefore has no special incentive to seek
out a more favorable judge or jury, uncover additional evidence,
polish the testimony of his witnesses, or otherwise strengthen his
case, thereby enhancing the risk that an innocent defendant will be
convicted. In sum, when reversal stems from grounds other than
insufficiency of the evidence, neither Green interest justifies denying
the state its opportunity to retry.
The dismissal cases further illustrate current double jeopardy
policy. In United States v. Scott, 36 the trial court granted the
131 See note 123 supra.
132United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 94 (1978). A conviction reversed on
grounds other than insufficiency of the evidence “implies nothing with respect to
the guilt or innocence of the defendant.” Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 15
33 See note 119 supra & accompanying text.
134 See Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. at 15-16.
135 Although no empirical studies have documented the conviction rate on retrial
following successful appeal of conviction, the percentage is estimated to be
quite high. Approximately 70% of all criminal cases tried before juries in the
federal courts result in conviction. ADmnqISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNrTED
STATES CouRTs, FEDERAL OFFENDEBs iN =H UN=TED STATES Dis acr CouRTs
1971, at 3, 25-26 (1971). Conversations with prosecutors and others in the criminal
justice field suggedt that of cases retried after successful appeal, the conviction
rate is at least as high.
Many successfully appealed cases result in reconviction because defendant
pleads guilty to a lesser included offense to avoid the burden of retrial. In addition,
prosecutors will usually choose not to bring to trial those cases in which the
prospects for reconviction seem dim due to circumstances such as the disappearance of witnesses or the destruction of evidence.
136437 U.S. 82 (1978). In Lee v. United States, 432 U.S. 23 (1977), the
Court permitted retrial of the defendant after the trial court granted his motion to
dismiss a defective indictment. Stating that this dismissal was the functional
equivalent of a mistrial, id. 31, the Court concluded that because there was no
prosecutorial or judicial overreaching, and because defendant retained control over
the course of events, the holding of United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600 (1973), applied. Id. 33-35. For a discussion of Dinitz, see note 84 supra. But see Sana-
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
defendant’s motion to dismiss based on a claim of preindictment
delay. 37 In holding that the state could appeal the mid-trial ruling
and that the defendant could be retried, 38 the Supreme Court
emphasized that the defendant “[sought] to have the trial terminated
without any submission to either judge or jury as to his guilt or
innocence.” 19 Absent an indication of factual innocence, 140 the
prosecutor has no special incentive to do anything different the
second time round. In those circumstances, the defendant’s Green
interests-especially the interest in minimizing the risk of unjust
4 ‘-are not sufficiently implicated to warrant denying
vindication of the state’s interest in convicting the guilty. 42
In highlighting the importance of a factual determination, the
Court contrasted Scott with two non-dismissal cases-Burks v.
United States143 and United States v. Green.144 In Burks,145 the
defendant’s conviction was reversed for insufficient evidence. 1 6
The Court barred retrial, characterizing the case as one involving “a failure of proof” 14 with regard to a factual issue. 48 In Green,
bria v. United States, 437 U.S. 54 (1978) (dismissal operated as an acquittal, and
despite the trial court’s error, retrial was barred).
137437 U.S. at 84.
138Id. 85-87; see note 75 supra.
139 437 U.S. at 101.
140 Whether demonstrated-as in an acquittal-or merely perceived as a fear
of the prosecutor that his proofs will be insufficient to convict
141437 U.S. at 101.
142Id. 100. In Scott, the Court again demonstrated that the defendant’s repose
interest, see text following note 47 supra, deserves no special protection absent some indication of factual innocence, such as a failure of the state’s proof. The
Court explicitly stated that protection of the repose interest is not a “principle”
that applies to “situations in which the defendant is responsible for the second
prosecution.” Scott, 437 U.S. at 95-96.
Cf. note 123 supra. See also United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430
U.S. 564 (1977); United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332 (1975).
143437 U.S. 1 (1978).
144 355 U.S. 184 (1957).
145 See text accompanying notes 124 & 125 supra.
140 437 U.S. at 16.
147The “failure of proof” rationale for barring retrial rests on the danger of
unjust conviction that would be posed by affording the prosecutor the opportunity
to remedy the defects in his proofs. Where the prosecutor “enter[s] upon the trial
of the case without sufficient evidence to convict,” retrial is barred. Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 737 (1963) (quoting Cornero v. United States, 48
F.2d 69, 71 (9th Cir. 1931)). This rule obtains in cases in which the insufficiency
is demonstrated by entry of a verdict of acquittal or an appellate reversal, see, e.g.,
Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1 (1978), and those in which the prosecutor
merely fears his proofs will fail, see, e.g., Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734
(1963); Cornero v. United States, 48 F.2d 69 (9th Cir. 1931); United States v. Shoemaker, 27 F. Cas. 1067 (C.C.D. Ill. 1840) (No. 16,279). A fortiori it would
appear that retrial should be barred after a hung jury; inability to agree to convict
evidences the failure of the prosecutor to prove his case. 148 The issue in controversy was the defendant’s sanity. 437 U.S. at 2-4.
732 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
the Court found an “implicit acquittal” 149 on a first degree murder
charge in a conviction for second degree. Retrial for first degree
murder was barred because the question of the defendant’s guilt
-was submitted to the jury which “was given a full opportunity to
return a verdict and no extraordinary circumstances appeared which
prevented it from doing so.” 150 It is precisely this point-that the
question of the defendant’s factual guilt or innocence was actually
submitted to the jury-that is the ground on which the Court distinguishes
Scott from Green. In Scott, the defendant succeeded in
keeping the question of guilt or innocence from the trier of fact.151
What conclusions may be drawn regarding double jeopardy
policy from the preceding discussion? Clearly, the Supreme Court
gives little weight to the defendant’s repose interest. The emotional
and pecuniary injury a defendant suffers simply as a result
of being retried does not alone provoke great sympathy. Something
more is required. And that additional factor is a prosecutor
seeking a new trial in order to improve what he knows or suspects
is a weak case. The defendant’s interest in limiting the risk of unjust
conviction then outweighs the state’s interest in convicting
An acquittal is a demonstrated failure of proof. Were retrial
permitted, the prosecutor, having suffered one loss, would likely
make heroic efforts to prevent another. Similarly, when the defendant’s
conviction is reversed for insufficiency of the evidence, the
prosecutor knows that he has failed to present enough evidence
to convict and will usually seek to retry the defendant only if he
thinks he can remedy the deficiency. The risk of unjust conviction
becomes unacceptably high, and retrial is barred.
Contrast the conviction reversed on grounds other than insufficient
evidence. Retrial here poses the same threat to the
defendant’s repose interest as would retrial following either an
acquittal or a reversal for insufficient evidence. Yet further proceedings
are permitted because the critical factor-a prosecutor
alerted to the need to supply better evidence in the second trialis
149355 U.S. 184, 190 (1957).
150 Id. 191.
For the view that under Green an implied acquittal must be inferred from
the jury’s inability to reach a verdict, see Stream, supra note 78, pt. 3, at 4, col. 1.
151 Scott, 437 U.S. at 99.
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
The prosecutorial-error cases, Downum v. United States 152 and
Illinois v. Somerville,153 support this analysis. The error in Somerville-a
defective indictment-does not suggest to the prosecutor that
he need remedy defects in his proofs. Retrial does not present an
unacceptably high risk of unjust conviction and is thus not barred.
The error in Downum, on the other hand-absence of a key witness-bears
directly on the prosecutor’s ability to prove the defendant’s
guilt. Because retrial would give the prosecutor a chance
to do better when he knows he must, the situation in Downum is
not unlike that following an acquittal or a conviction reversed
for insufficiency of the evidence. Accordingly, retrial is barred.
What result obtains when these double jeopardy policies are
applied to the hung jury case? What weight do they suggest should
be assigned to the defendant’s Green interests? 154 As will be
demonstrated, the case for barring retrial following a hung jury is
stronger than that in Downum and nearly as compelling as that
in the acquittal and in the conviction reversed for insufficiency
of the evidence.
In fact, the acquittal case, although scarcely the perfect analogue
to the hung jury, is not that dissimilar. The belief that
hung juries frequently result from the presence of a single stubbornly
unreasonable member is not borne out by research. As
Kalven and Zeisel have demonstrated, 55 the hung jury tends initially
to split fairly evenly, and only after a rather prolonged
wearing-down process does the vote reduce to near-unanimity. 156
Thus, deadlocks generally do not involve cases in which guilt is
clear to all but the credulous or demented. 57 This is not to sug-
152372 U.S. 734 (1963).
153410 U.S. 458 (1973).
154 See notes 46-52 supra & accompanying text.
155 H. KALVFN & H. ZEISEL, TnE AmsmucAN JuRy (1966).
‘ 56 Id. 462-63.
157 Some critics of the view expressed in this Article suggest that to bar retrial
following a hung jury is to give one juror too much power-the power to acquit. As an Ohio court, waxing somewhat hyperbolic, put it: “But to allow . . . the
ignorance, perversity, or even honest mistake, of a single juror to paralyze the
administration of justice, and turn loose upon the community the most dangerous
offenders… would subvert the foundation principles upon which the criminal code
is administered.” Dobbins v. State, 14 Ohio St. 493, 501 (1863). Cases no doubt
exist in which one juror refused to vote for conviction even though he thought the
defendant was guilty. For example, in the bribery trial of Representative Daniel
Flood of Pennsylvania, the jury split 11-1 for conviction, the one refusing to convict
because Flood, age seventy-five, was “too old.” Juror Who Opposed Conviction
-of Flood Assailed by a Colleague, N.Y. Times, Feb. 5, 1979, § 4, at 8, col. 5.
By the same token, however, a single juror can prevent an acquittal. See,
for example, the trials of Huey Newton for the 1974 murder of a seventeen year-old
734 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
gest that the jury’s inability to agree establishes a reasonable
doubt. 5″ That argument appears foreclosed by recent Supreme
Court decisions upholding non-unanimous jury verdicts.’ 9 But
prostitute in Oakland, California. The first jury hung 10-2 for acquittal; the second
deadlocked at 11-1 for acquittal. 2d Mistrial Is Declared for Newton; Prosecutor
to Seek Closing of Case, N.Y. Times, Sept. 26, 1979, at 23, col. 3. See also Stream,
supra note 95, pt. 1, at 1, col. 3. Yet the holdout juror in such a case is rarely
5 8 One commentator has argued that permitting retrial after a hung jury
violates the constitutional requirement that guilt be proved beyond a reasonable
doubt. Failure of the jury to agree on a verdict establishes a reasonable doubt as to defendant’s guilt; accordingly, a verdict of acquittal should be entered, raising
the double jeopardy bar to retrial. See Silverstein, Double Jeopardy and Hung
Juries: United States v. Castellanos, 5 Rur.-C m. L.. 218 (1974); Silverstein,
Rebuttal: An Alternative Viewpoint on the Relationship of Unanimous Verdicts and
Reasonable Doubt, 11 VAL. L. lEv. 29 (1976). But see note 150 infra.
15pJohnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356 (1972); Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S.
Essential to the argument that inability of the jury to agree establishes a rea- sonable doubt is the proposition that failure of even one juror to be convinced of
defendant’s guilt raises a reasonable doubt and, under In re Winship, 397 U.S.
358 (1970), precludes conviction. The Court rejected this position in Johnson
and Apodaca, cases in which judgments of conviction entered on verdicts of 10-2
and 9-3 were upheld. Implicit in the Court’s holding that non-unanimous verdicts are constitutional is the view that the reasonable doubt of as many as three jurors
does not constitute a doubt sufficient to preclude conviction.
In dictum in Arizona v. Washington, the Court stated (without citation of
any authority): “The argument that a jury’s inability to agree establishes reasonable
doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, and therefore requires acquittal, has been uniformly
rejected in this country.” Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 509 (1978).
Given Johnson and Apodaca, it is tempting to play a numbers game to assuage the one-irrational-juror fear. See note 157 supra. In a jurisdiction requiring that
the verdict be unanimous, if a twelve-person jury hangs 11-1, 10-2, or perhaps even 9-3 for conviction, the votes of the dissenting jurors for acquittal would not
raise a reasonable doubt regarding guilt and would not, therefore, bar retrial. On
the other hand, at some point the number of votes for acquittal would be sufficient
to establish a reasonable doubt, thus barring reprosecution. Whether that number
be identified as eight, seven, six, five or even four might seem to be an arbitrary
choice. Common sense would support a claim that if half of the members of the
jury are persuaded that the defendant is not guilty, there is doubt, neither insubstantial
nor trivial, about his guilt.
In the six-person jury cases the Court has demonstrated its willingness to
engage in such arbitrary line-drawing as a matter of constitutional law. In Ballew v. Georgia, 435 U.S. 223 (1978), the Court held that although six-person juries are constitutionally permissible, five-person juries are not. In drawing the line
where it did, the Court relied heavily on social science research about the way
juries perform their deliberative functions. Also, in Burch v. Louisiana, 441 U.S.
130 (1979), the Court, reversing a 5-1 conviction, held that a verdict of guilty
returned by a six-person jury must be unanimous. The Court conceded the difficulty
of distinguishing a vote of 5-1 from a vote of 6-0, and said simply ‘lines
must be drawn somewhere.” Id. 137.
There may be, however, a practical problem with the numbers game. The
available social science research, although suggesting that juries hang because of
doubt about the sufficiency of evidence, indicates that the initial vote of juries that
ultimately hang is generally close, but the final vote is not likely to be. The usual
pattern is a substantial dissent on the first ballot that gradually reduces in size as deliberations continue. On the final ballot, usually only one or two jurors are stil
dissenting. H. K.LvEN & H. ZmsEL, THE A. mmucAN Juny 460-61 (1966).
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
these cases do involve a group of defendants whose guilt is not
apparent and who, in all probability, have a higher percent of
innocents among them than do accuseds in general.160 Accordingly,
even if the repose interest of this group is not worthy of the same
respect as that of defendants who have been acquitted, we cannot
disregard altogether the injury to their psychic and financial wellbeing
that multiple trials inflict.
In all events, the repose interest does not stand alone, but
exists in tandem with a concern about the risk of unjust conviction,
a concern that is scarcely limited to the acquittal cases.’,’ This
risk infiltrates the hung jury case. In this instance, in contrast to
both the case of a conviction reversed on grounds other than insufficiency
of the evidence and the case of a defective indictment, the
prosecutor is unlikely to treat a second trial as a carbon of the first.
Indeed, the chances that a different, more effective presentation
will be attempted are even greater than in cases involving error
subject to manipulation. There the prosecutor only suspects that
his case may not lead to conviction. After a hung jury, he knows
that it has not. In this regard, the hung jury case may be even
closer to one terminating in acquittal than one involving prosecutorial
efforts to abort a trial that has not yet gone to a jury. The
use of one trial as a learning experience to be put to use in another
varies so dramatically from the normal criminal process that it
alone suggests limiting the prosecutor to one full and fair opporThe
implications of that suggestion are obvious. If Kalven and Zeisel are correct in stating that juries seldom hang on a vote closer than 10-2 or 9-3, barring
retrial when the jury hangs 8-4 or 7-5 or 6-6 for acquittal will have practically
16oSome courts have expressed the view that inability of the jury to agree
quickly on defendant’s fate is itself indicative of innocence. See United States v.
Dailey, 524 F.2d 911, 917 (8th Cir. 1975); Commonwealth v. Cook, 6 Serg. &
Rawl. 577, 597 (Pa. 1822). It is not surprising then to find that some early courts took the position that
a hung jury is “strong evidence” of innocence and concluded that retrial following
a hung jury should be barred:
[Als they could not agree to convict, it is strong evidence of the party’s innocence; and perhaps he could not be tried again with the same advantage
to himself as then. Perhaps his witnesses are dead, or gone
away, or their attendance not be procured, or some accident may prevent
their attendance. We will not again put his life in jeopardy, more
especially as it is very improbable we shall be able to possess him of the
same advantages ….
State v. Garrigues, 2 N.C. 188, 189, 1 Hayw. 241, 242 (1795). See also Ned v.
State, 7 Port. 187, 216 (Ala. 1838).
61 See text accompanying notes 104-10 supra. Research has amply demonstrated
that the risk of wrongful conviction is not fanciful. See generally E.
BoncHaD, CoNvicnuc THE INOCENT (1932); J. FRANK & B. FRANK, NOT
736 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
tunity to present his case.162 In fact, the likelihood of innocence of
a defendant subjected to retrial may not be critical. In discussing
the danger of prosecutorial manipulation, Somerville makes no
mention of it. Still, the argument against retrial is more appealing
when it deals with defendants more likely to be innocent. A prosecutorial
attempt to manipulate a mistrial suggests that unless the
state’s case can be strengthened an unfavorable result lies ahead.
This, in turn, may be considered some indication of the innocence
of the defendant. In any event, the defendants in the hung jury
cases are indeed more likely to be innocent than is the run-ofmine
In sum, retrial after a hung jury not only runs roughshod over
the defendant’s repose interest, but more significantly, subjects him
to an unacceptable risk of unjust conviction. The probability that
a significant number of innocents exist among those whose juries
have deadlocked operates to blunt the argument that the state’s
interest in pursuing violators of its laws demands repeated opportunities
at conviction lest the guilty run free and the populace
become fearful and insomniac.
Thus, the argument for barring retrial after a hung jury has
force. “4 The full implications of its acceptance, however, must be
understood. 165 The validity of the thesis advanced here is depend-
162 Even if the first trial is not completed, a second prosecution may be
grossly unfair. It increases the financial and emotional burden on the
accused, prolongs the period in which he is stigmatized by an unresolved
accusation of wrongdoing, and may even enhance the risk that an innocent
defendant may be convicted. The danger of such unfairness to the defendant
exists whenever a trial is aborted before it is completed. Consequently,
as a general rule, the prosecutor is entitled to one, and only one,
opportunity to require an accused to stand trial.
Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 503-05 (1978).
163 See text accompanying notes 155-60 supra.
164 State courts, of course, could bar retrial following a hung jury under the
double jeopardy provisions of their state constitutions even if the Supreme Court
refuses to depart from its century-old rule. Recently, commentators have noted a
willingness by state courts to provide defendants greater protection under state law
than that accorded under the United States Constitution. See, e.g., Brennan,
State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights, 90 HAIv. L. REV. 489
(1977); Howard, State Courts and Constitutional Rights in the Day of the Burger
Court, 62 VA. L. REy. 873 (1976); Wilkes, More on the New Federalism in Criminal
Procedure, 63 Ky. L.J. 873 (1975); Wilkes, The New Federalism in Criminal
Procedure: State Court Evasion of the Burger Court, 62 Ky. L.J. 421 (1974);
Note, Stepping Into the Breach: Basing Defendants’ Rights on State Rather than
Federal Law, 15 Am. CRm. L. Ray. 339 (1978). See generally, Y. Kmis~u,
W. LAFAvE & J. IsRAEL, MODEP, CrumAL P.nocFDuE 2-5 (Supp. 1980).
165 Judges and commentators have expressed concern that barring retrial after
a hung jury would increase the risk of coerced verdicts. See, e.g., Arizona v.
Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 509-10 (1978); Morano, Historical Development of the
Interrelationship of Unanimous Verdicts and Reasonable Doubt, 10 VA.. L. REy. 223
RETRIAL AFTER A HUNG JURY
ent upon a rejection of the doctrine of manifest necessity as the
lodestar in mistrial cases. If this is done, and constitutionally based
policies become determinative in the hung jury case, so must they
in all other instances in which manifest necessity now forces particular
results. All these cases would then be subject to a fresh
-a formidable task and one well beyond the scope of
this Article. That an arduous piece of work remains to be done,
however, is scant justification for repeating past errors. Double
jeopardy is a constitutional doctrine, and, as such, its hoary common
law antecedents should not from their graves control and distort
(1976). They fear that the trial judge, aware of the consequences of a hung
jury, would unduly pressure the jury to reach a verdict rather than discharge them
for inability to agree; this judicial reluctance to find that the jury is genuinely
deadlocked would in turn exacerbate the coercive effect of hunger and fatigue on
This danger exists, of course, under the present rule. The trial judge would
understandably prefer a verdict to disagreement, for if the jury fails to agree, the
judge may have to hear the case again. Thus, simply as a matter of judicial
economy, there is some incentive for the court to pressure the jury to reach a
Should retrial following a hung jury be barred, however, this concern over
economy of resources would be eliminated. Whether the jury acquitted, convicted
or hung, there would be only one trial, unless the conviction were reversed on
appeal. Because the effect of acquittal and deadlock would be the same, the as- sumption made by those who fear coerced verdicts must be either that trial judges
prefer convictions or that jury deadlocks are too often the result of an irrational
hold-out juror. Neither of those assumptions is self-evident; the latter has been
shown to be unfounded. See note 150 supra.
166 Take, for example, the judicial error in declaring a mistrial in United
States v. Jon, 400 U.S. 470 (1971), in which the judge refused to permit certain
witnesses to testify without first consulting an attorney. Despite assurances that
they had been warned of their constitutional rights, the judge declared a mistrial
to allow the witnesses to seek legal advice. The Supreme Court held that termination
of the proceedings was not manifestly necessary and retrial was, therefore,
barred. Once the lack of manifest necessity to terminate is no longer dispositive,
however, the result presently reached is by no means a foregone conclusion. To
treat such judicial error as one would prosecutorial manipulation would evidence a belief in judicial impropriety. Cf. text at notes 33-34 supra (discussing excesses
of judiciary in Stuart England). If, as might be expected, the Supreme Court
is unwilling to base a decision on such grounds, the error-that-lends-itself-to-manipulation
rationale would be inapposite. That failing, there seems no reason to afford
great weight to the defendant’s Green interests. Since we assume that the court
is not manipulating a mistrial to give the prosecutor an opportunity to bolster a
weak case, the risk of unjust conviction is not high.
Perhaps, however, in this instance, the state through its judicial officer may be
teemed to have waived its right to a second trial. All this remains to be resolved.
Of course, in other instances the absence of the ancient manifest necessity test
will not complicate matters much. Should, for example, continuation of the trial
be physically impossible, the only reasonable conclusion-that retrial should be
allowed-can readily be reached in another fashion. A simple recognition that the
Green interests in such instances fall well short of those of the state will suffice to
resolve the case. In short, in evaluating the approach suggested in this Article, it is helpful
not only to recognize the difficulties it creates, but also to avoid overstating them.