Johnson v. State

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After a jury trial, Petitioner was acquitted of murder in the first degree but convicted of murder in the second degree. The circuit court granted Petitioner’s motion for a new trial. After the State rested its case during the second trial, the trial judge declared a mistrial and discharged the jury. The case was rescheduled. Petitioner then filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on grounds of double jeopardy. After hearing arguments, the judge struck his previous grant of a mistrial and granted Petitioner’s previously-filed motion for judgment of acquittal, thus dismissing the second-degree murder charge against Petitioner based on insufficiency of the evidence. The State subsequently reindicted Petitioner for second-degree murder. Upon Petitioner’s motion, the trial judge dismissed the indictment. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that principles of double jeopardy did not bar Petitioner’s retrial because the trial court could not acquit Petitioner after declaring a mistrial and discharging the jury. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the trial judge acted without authority in acquitting Petitioner weeks after he had declared a mistrial and discharged the jury. View "Johnson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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