Brown v. Ohio
432 U.S. 161 (1977)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161 (1977)

Brown v. Ohio

No. 75-6933

Argued March 21, 1977

Decided June 16, 1977

432 U.S. 161

Syllabus

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, applied to the States through the Fourteenth, held to bar prosecution and punishment for the crime of stealing an automobile following prosecution and punishment for the lesser included offense of operating the same vehicle without the owner's consent. Pp. 432 U. S. 164-170.

(a) "[W]here the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory provisions, the test to be applied to determine whether there are two offenses or only one, is whether each provision requires proof of a fact which the other does not," Blockburger v. United States,284 U. S. 299, 284 U. S. 304. In line with that test, the Double Jeopardy Clause generally forbids successive prosecution and cumulative punishment for a greater and lesser included offense. Pp. 432 U. S. 166-169.

(b) Here, though the Ohio Court of Appeals properly held that, under state law, joyriding (taking or operating a vehicle without the owner's consent) and auto theft (joyriding with the intent permanently to deprive the owner of possession) constitute "the same statutory offense" within the meaning of the Double Jeopardy Clause, it erroneously concluded that petitioner could be convicted of both crimes because the charges against him had focused on different parts of the 9-day interval between petitioner's taking of the car and his apprehension. There was still only one offense under Ohio law, and the specification of different dates in the two charges against petitioner cannot alter the fact that he was twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 432 U. S. 169-170.

Reversed.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which MARSHALL, J., joined, post, p. 432 U. S. 170. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 432 U. S. 170.

Page 432 U. S. 162

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