Price v. Georgia

LOCATION: St. Petersburg City Hall

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1970-1971)

CITATION: 398 US 323 (1970)
ARGUED: Apr 27, 1970
DECIDED: Jun 15, 1970

Facts of the case


Media for Price v. Georgia

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 27, 1970 in Price v. Georgia

Warren E. Burger:

Under for our argument today is number 269, Price against the State of Georgia.

Mr. Wallace, you may proceed whenever you're ready.

Allyn M. Wallace:

Mr. Chief Justice and May it please the Court.

As I stand here in this place where many great men have stood before this August body of our government, I'm reminded of an incident that occurred in the Supreme Court of Georgia before Judge Douglas in my early years in the practice of law.

In addressing that body, I was arguing with all my might the point of law and the late Chief Justice of that Court said to me, Mr. Wallace, we are not interested in hearing your version of the law, remember, we make it here, we'd rather hear something about the facts.

With that thought in mind, and this being my first appearance before this great body and with the indulgence of the Court, I would like if permissible to give a thumbnail sketch of just what happened in this case.

Warren E. Burger:

In your own way Mr. Wallace.

Allyn M. Wallace:

Thank you sir.

In 1962 in October, the petitioner in Certiorari Earl Price was indicted in Effingham county, superior -- Georgia Superior Court for the offense of murder.

The following day, he was tried in that Court for murder before a jury.

The judge, the trial judge is now deceased.

The key is that the jury brought in a verdict on the trial of murder of voluntary manslaughter.

They said nothing about the murder charge in their verdict.

The verdict merely said, we the jury find the defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter and fixed his punishment from 10 to 15 years.

I took that case to the Court of Appeals for review of Georgia.

It was reversed on an erroneous charge of the late judge Walton Usher.

In 1967 in October, the same man was called upon in the same Court, under the same indictment for the same offense of murder, to answer and to plea to the charge of murder.

Prior to the trial of the case, second time in 1967, I filed a plea in the Court of former jeopardy.

The plea was argued at length and the Court overruled my plea of Double Jeopardy and the case went to trial, the second time, not for manslaughter but under the same indictment, grand jury indictment for the same offense before a jury and before the same trial judge.

That jury brought in a verdict of guilty and said nothing about murder or voluntary manslaughter as did the first jury.

Fixing his sentence at 10 years rather than 10 to 15 years as the first jury did.

The usual procedure was followed and the case was again appealed to the Court of Appeals for Georgia and the Supreme Court of Georgia I believe and they sent it to the Court of Appeals and then it went back by a certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia and we are now in this Court for an opinion.

There's two constitutional questions that we raised --

Hugo L. Black:

Could I ask you question?

Allyn M. Wallace:


Hugo L. Black:

(Inaudible) Court again for overruling your motion for being barred which took on?

Allyn M. Wallace:

I believe if Your Honor please, the appendix will show that no reason was given except that the motion was denied if my memory serves me correct, that's correct.

Hugo L. Black:

You don't know the --

Allyn M. Wallace:

That's correct.

The case –-