BRIDDLE v. ILLINOIS
450 U.S. 986

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U.S. Supreme Court

BRIDDLE v. ILLINOIS , 450 U.S. 986 (1981)

450 U.S. 986

John BRIDDLE
v.
State of ILLINOIS
No. 80-871

Supreme Court of the United States

March 9, 1981

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Second District.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Justice BRENNAN, with whom Justice STEWART joins, dissenting.

Petitioner, who has been acquitted of speeding, has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, claiming that his pending prosecution for perjury and obstruction of justice would constitute double jeopardy under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments if the prosecution were allowed to proceed. I would grant the petition for certiorari and reverse the judgment below insofar as it permitted prosecution of the perjury charge.

At petitioner's trial for speeding, the arresting state trooper testified that, after clocking petitioner's speed by radar, he stopped petitioner's car and took his license. When petitioner told the trooper that he was a county board member and was late for an important meeting at the office of the Forest Preserve District, the trooper allowed petitioner to proceed to that office. The trooper followed petitioner, parked behind petitioner's car after arriving at the office of the Forest Preserve District, and then wrote up the citation. The citation listed petitioner's name, address, and driver's license

Page 450 U.S. 986 , 987

number and described his vehicle as a 1978 silver Chevrolet, bearing Illinois dealer license plates, number D/L 80E. Petitioner signed his name and address on the back of the ticket.

Petitioner, appearing pro se, testified that, on the day in question, he was driving a green Cadillac which did not bear dealer plates. When the prosecutor asked whether petitioner had borrowed or rented a car that day, petitioner responded that he had never driven a car with dealer plates, had never driven a silver Chevrolet, and had not driven a Chevrolet in the preceding 15 years. Petitioner was acquitted of the speeding charge.

After the acquittal, petitioner was indicted for perjury and for obstruction of justice. The perjury charge was based on petitioner's testimony that he was driving a Cadillac, not a Chevrolet. The trial court dismissed the indictment on the ground that prosecution of these charges was barred "under the doctrine of collateral estoppel." App. to Pet. for Cert. 2. The Appellate Court of Illinois reversed, concluding that the doctrine of collateral estoppel embodied in the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment was inapplicable and that, accordingly, Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436 (1970), did not bar prosecution of the indictment. 84 Ill.App.3d 523, 40 Ill.Dec. 265, 405 N.E.2d 1357.

I believe that the Court's opinion in Ashe v. Swenson forbids prosecution of petitioner for perjury. In Ashe, we held that the double jeopardy guarantee encompasses the doctrine of collateral estoppel as a constitutional requirement. Determining the applicability of that doctrine "requires a court to 'examine the record of a prior proceeding, taking into account the pleadings, evidence, charge, and other relevant matter, and conclude whether a rational jury could have grounded its verdict upon an issue other than that which the defendant seeks to foreclose from consideration.' " 397 U.S., at 444. Thus, in Ashe, petitioner's acquittal of the charge of robbing one of six men playing poker precluded a prosecution for robbing another of the six men, because [450 U.S. 986 , 988]


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