Hudson v. Louisiana

LOCATION: North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women

DOCKET NO.: 79-5688
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Louisiana Supreme Court

CITATION: 450 US 40 (1981)
ARGUED: Dec 01, 1980
DECIDED: Feb 24, 1981

James M. Bullers - on behalf of the Respondent
Richard O. Burst, Sr. - on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Hudson v. Louisiana

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 01, 1980 in Hudson v. Louisiana

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 24, 1981 in Hudson v. Louisiana

Warren E. Burger:

The judgments and opinion of the Court in Hudson against Louisiana will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This case is here on certiorari to the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

After petitioner's first criminal trial, the judge granted a motion for a new trial on the ground that the evidence as a matter of law was insufficient to support the jury's guilty verdict.

The question presented here is whether the Double Jeopardy Clause bars the State from prosecuting petitioner a second time.

We think this case is controlled by our decision rendered two times ago in Burks against the United States.

In that case, an appellate court had concluded that the states evidence was legally insufficient to support a guilty verdict.

A defendant in a criminal trial is entitled to an acquittal, unless the State presents at the first trial sufficient evidence to support a verdict or judgment guilty.

Accordingly in Burks, we held that there could be no retrial.

For the same reason we hold today, that the Double Jeopardy Clause bars retrial of petitioner.

Accordingly, the judgment of the Louisiana Supreme Court is reversed.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.