Brown v. Ohio

LOCATION:Craig’s Residence

DOCKET NO.: 75-6933
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 432 US 161 (1977)
ARGUED: Mar 21, 1977
DECIDED: Jun 16, 1977

George J. Sadd – for respondent
Robert Plautz – for petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Brown v. Ohio

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 21, 1977 in Brown v. Ohio

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 16, 1977 in Brown v. Ohio

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 75-6933, Brown against Ohio, will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

The petitioner in this case stole an automobile from a parking lot in East Cleveland, Ohio.

Nine days later, he was arrested while driving the car in Wickliffe, Ohio.

He was convicted there of joyriding that is of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

After setting a 30-day sentence, petitioner also was convicted in East Cleveland on a more serious charge of theft of the same car.

Although petitioner raised the double jeopardy issue to his second prosecution, his conviction was affirmed by the Ohio Court of Appeals and we granted certiorari.

The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall be a subject to the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

Under Ohio law as construed in this case, the crime of theft includes all of the elements of the lesser offense of joyriding.

We affirmed today the rule that two offenses related in this manner are the same for the purposes of the double jeopardy guarantee.

As petitioner was placed twice in jeopardy for his single offense, we reversed his conviction.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a concurring opinion in which Mr. Justice Marshall has joined.

Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.