Answer: Jurors Are Sworn, Case Has Been Dismissed, Prosecutors Move For A New Trial. Question: What Is Double Jeopardy?
Esteban Martinez v. Illinois
U.S Supreme Court
Decided on May 27, 2014
Jurors Are Sworn, Case Has Been Dismissed, Prosecutors Move For A New Trial: What Is Double Jeopardy?
Summary: Esteban Martinez was indicted on charges of aggravated battery and mob action against Avery Binion and Demarco Scott. The State subpoenaed Binion and Scott numerous times, but they never appeared for trial and the State was granted several continuances. The Court subpoenaed Binion and Scott, they did not appear and the Court offered to delay swearing the jurors, or allow the State to dismiss its case. The Jury was sworn, the State had no evidence, and the case was dismissed. The State requested a continuance, and that application was denied. The case wended its way to The U.S. Supreme Court where it was held that jeopardy attaches when the jury is sworn and the Defendant may not be retried.
Issue: When does Jeopardy attach and when does the Double Jeopardy Clause prevent the Defendant from being retried.
Holding: The U.S Supreme Court held that the Bright-line rule states that Jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn. Martinez cannot be subjected to jeopardy twice because the jury had been sworn and there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction; therefore, he may not be retried.
Facts: Esteban Martinez was indicted on charges of aggravated battery and mob action against Avery Binion and Demarco Scott. The State subpoenaed both men over the course of several years to testify at trial many times and they never appeared. On the morning of May 17 when the trial was set to begin, The State asked for a brief continuance because they had no witnesses. The trial court denied the State’s request for continuance. The jury was sworn and the Court directed the State to proceed with its opening statement. The State could not participate in the case without any witnesses and the Defense moved for dismissal. The Court made a direct finding and dismissed the charges.
Legal Analysis: The U.S Supreme Court held: the bright line rule is that Jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn. At trial, the State was aware of the significance of swearing a jury and proceeded with insufficient evidence. The trial court found that jeopardy had attached because the jurors were sworn and there was no evidence to sustain a conviction, therefore the case was dismissed and defendant could not be retried.
The Court repeatedly delayed the case to give the State time to find its witnesses and granted the State a number of continuances. The Court told the State on the day of trial that it could move to dismiss case before the jury was sworn. The State participated in the selection of jurors and did not ask for dismissal. The jurors were sworn, and the case was dismissed because there was no evidence, and the bright line rule of Jeopardy applied; therefore, the Double Jeopardy Clause prevented Martinez from being retried.