CAC Hails Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear Double Jeopardy Case, Blueford v. Arkansas

Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court today decided to review Blueford v. Arkansas, an important case involving the significance of juries and the meaning of the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on double jeopardy. In Blueford, the jury had unanimously acquitted Alex Blueford of the two most serious charges against him—deadlocking on a lesser-included charge—yet the Arkansas court held that the state could nonetheless retry Blueford on those charges, including a capital offense.

As CAC explains in its brief urging Supreme Court review, the Founders viewed criminal juries as a bulwark against tyranny and would have been appalled that a ministerial act by a judge could trump the considered judgment of a jury. Read the brief here.

“The ruling of the Arkansas Supreme Court in this case doesn’t just conflict with the opinions of other state courts,” said Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel of Constitutional Accountability Center, “it is also clearly inconsistent with the text and history of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the government from subjecting a defendant to a second trial or prosecution for the same crime following acquittal by a jury.”

CAC has expanded its work at the certiorari stage of the Supreme Court process, looking to identify cases that are likely to produce rulings that are consistent with our Constitution’s text and history.

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Resources:

CAC’s brief in support of the petition for a writ of certiorari in Blueford v. Arkansas: http://theusconstitution.org/petition-writ-certiorari-arkansas-supreme-court

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

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