Cichos v. Indiana

LOCATION: El Paso Natural Gas Co. Headquarters

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)

CITATION: 385 US 76 (1966)
ARGUED: Oct 19, 1966
DECIDED: Nov 14, 1966

Facts of the case


Media for Cichos v. Indiana

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 19, 1966 in Cichos v. Indiana

John P. Price:

May I first move the admission pro hac vice of my adversary Mr. Douglas McFadden, the Deputy Attorney General in the office of the attorney general for the State of Indiana.

I would so move his admission if I could sir.

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

The issue presented by the instance case pertains to the nature and quality of the protection against double jeopardy.

Specifically we have asked this Court to revisit the decision of Palko versus Connecticut.

Specifically this case then concerned itself with whether the protection against double jeopardy is of such statute so as to be immune from state encroachment under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The petitioner in this case was charged in two counts, the first was the violation in Indiana of the crime of reckless homicide and then the second count, the offense of involuntary manslaughter.

After a lengthy trial the petitioner was convicted only of the crime of reckless homicide and the jury returned no verdict on the count of involuntary manslaughter.

Although we submit it's not really germane to the academic question here, it is well settled in Indiana that jury silence on account is tantamount to an acquittal.

So I submit that in every legal effect this petitioner was convicted of the crime of reckless homicide and acquitted of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

Potter Stewart:

Is a -- in Indiana is reckless homicide a lesser --

John P. Price:


Potter Stewart:

A simple lesser included offense under involuntary manslaughter?

John P. Price:

No sir it is not.

The offenses are qualitatively identical.

Neither is included in the other.

They're horizontal as opposed to vertical offenses.


John P. Price:

Yes sir.

With this exception Mr. Justice Harlan insofar as it applies to motor vehicle deaths.

Potter Stewart:

Which this was?

John P. Price:

Which this case is concerned with, yes.

Insofar as this case in motor vehicle deaths are concerned, these two offenses are qualitatively identical.

Byron R. White:

With different punishments or what?

John P. Price:

Yes sir, yes sir.

Reckless homicide statute does provide a lesser --

Potter Stewart:


John P. Price:

Punishment or at least the indeterminate sentence starts earlier, one to five as oppose to the 2 to 21 under the involuntary manslaughter.

Is it a decision on one (Inaudible)

John P. Price:

Mr. Justice, there is another statute in Indiana which I think recognizes the very double jeopardy features that we're submitting to you today.