Thursday, June 18, 2009

Government Cannot Have Two Bites of the Apple in Enron Broadband Case

The Supreme Court ruled today on the case of Yeager v. United States, a case from the Enron Broadband cases. For background see here. Basically, defendant, who was an employee at Enron Broadband Services ("EBS"), was acquitted on some of counts but the jury was hung on others. The government indicted Defendant on some of these hung counts and the issue was whether collateral estoppel can apply to hung counts. The decision has six on the majority and three dissenting, with Justice Stevens writing the majority opinion. Justices Roberts, Souter, Ginsberg, and Breyer joined in this opinion, and Justice Kennedy joined in parts I - III and V of the opinion, and he also filed a separate concurring opinion.  Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito provide the dissents with two separate opinions that are each joined by the others.

The holding of the decision is summarized in the following statement:

The question presented in this case is whether an apparent inconsistency between a jury's verdict of acquittal on some counts and its failure to return a verdict on other counts affects the preclusive force of the acquittals under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment.  We hold that it does not.

Commentary on this decision to follow. See also Scotus Blog here.

(esp)(blogging from Boulder, Colorado)

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This is the best SCOTUS opinion of the year so far. It can only get better if they hear Jeff Skilling's case and agree with him too.

Posted by: Cara Ellison | Jun 19, 2009 11:25:02 AM

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