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Blueford v. Arkansas

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-1320 Ark. S. Ct. Feb 22, 2012
May 24, 2012 6-3 Roberts OT 2011

Holding: The Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the state from retrying Blueford on charges of capital murder and first-degree murder after the jury in Blueford’s original trial told the trial court that it had voted unanimously against those charges but was deadlocked on the manslaughter charge against him and eventually failed to reach a verdict, causing the court to declare a mistrial.

Plain English Summary: The defendant can be tried again on two serious charges even though the jury in the defendant's first trial unanimously agreed that the defendant was not guilty of those charges. Because the jury could not agree on the other charges in the case, the judge could properly declare a mistrial, requiring the defendant to face a second trial on all charges. The judge was not required to take a partial verdict acquitting the defendant on some of the charges.

Judgment: Affirmed, 6-3, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on May 24, 2012. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan.

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