Crist, et al. v. Cline & Brest

PETITIONER: Roger Crist, Warden, Montana State Penitentiary, et al.
RESPONDENT: Merrel Cline & L.R. Bretz
LOCATION: Seneca County Court

DOCKET NO.: 76-1200
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 434 US 28 (1978)
DECIDED: Jun 14, 1978
ARGUED: Nov 01, 1977
REARGUED: Mar 22, 1978

ADVOCATES:
Charles S. Moses -
Charles F. Moses - for appellee L
Kenneth Steven Geller - for United States, amicus curiae
Robert S. Keller - for appellants
W. William Leaphart - for appellee Merrel Cline

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Crist, et al. v. Cline & Brest

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 01, 1977 in Crist, et al. v. Cline & Brest
Audio Transcription for Oral Reargument - March 22, 1978 in Crist, et al. v. Cline & Brest

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 14, 1978 in Crist, et al. v. Cline & Brest

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Crist against Bretz will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This case is here on appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

It involves another aspect of the constitutional guarantee against being twice put in jeopardy.

Precise issue is relatively simple one and it's a single one and it is whether the federal rule, governing the time when jeopardy attaches in a jury trial is binding on Montana through the Fourteenth Amendment.

The federal rule is that jeopardy attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn.

A Montana statue provides that jeopardy does not attach until the first witness is sworn.

For the reasons stated in some detail in the written opinion of the Court filed today, we hold that the federal rule, that jeopardy attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn is an integral part of the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy.

And that accordingly it is binding upon the individual states.

For these reasons the judgment before us is affirmed.

Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a concurring opinion.

The Chief Justice has filed a dissenting opinion.

Mr. Justice Powell has also filed a dissenting opinion which the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Stewart.