A store manager and a customer were robbed by two armed men.
Petitioner was tried and convicted of robbing the manager, but, on
retrial after reversal, he was acquitted. He was then charged with
robbing the customer, his motion to quash the information on double
jeopardy grounds was overruled, and he was found guilty. Each jury
verdict was a general one. The District Court of Appeal, after the
decision in Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.
, held as a matter of law that, while the
acquittal at the second trial entitled petitioner to invoke
collateral estoppel, his conviction at the first trial gave rise to
a "double collateral estoppel," allowing the State to rely on the
finding of the jury at the first trial that he was a participant in
the robbery. The State Supreme Court denied review.
As stated in Ashe, supra,
not an ingredient of the collateral estoppel rule imposed on the
States by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; and unless the jury
verdict in the second trial "could have [been] grounded . . . upon
an issue other than that which the defendant seeks to foreclose
from consideration," the double jeopardy provision vitiates
Certiorari granted; 237 So. 2d 341, vacated and remanded.
On November 9, 1966, two armed men entered a store in
Jacksonville, Florida, and robbed the manager and a customer.
During 1967, petitioner was tried and convicted in the state
courts, after a jury trial, of the armed robbery of the manager,
but the conviction was reversed on appeal because the trial judge
neglected to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of
larceny. Griffin v. State,
202 So. 2d 602
(Fla.Dist.Ct.App. 1967). In 1968, petitioner was retried on the
same charge and acquitted. Subsequently, he was charged with
robbing the customer. His motion to quash the information on
Page 403 U. S. 385
double jeopardy grounds was overruled, and a jury found
petitioner guilty of armed robbery. Each of the three jury verdicts
here involved was a general one. The trial court-imposed a 30-year
sentence and petitioner appealed to the District Court of
Prior to the adjudication of petitioner's appeal, this Court
rendered its decision in Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.
. We there held that the principle of collateral
estoppel, which "bars relitigation between the same parties of
issues actually determined at a previous trial," id.
397 U. S. 442
is "embodied in the Fifth Amendment guarantee against double
397 U. S. 445
, and is fully applicable to the States, by
force of the Fourteenth Amendment, in light of Benton v.
Maryland, 395 U. S. 784
The factual situation presented in Ashe
parallels that of the instant case. There, three or four men had
interrupted a poker game and robbed all six participants.
Petitioner had been acquitted by a general jury verdict on a charge
of robbing one of the poker players, but was later tried and
convicted of robbing a second. He contended that the prohibition
against double jeopardy operated as a bar to the second prosecution
because the only issue in each trial was the identity of the
robbers. We held in Ashe
"Where a previous judgment of acquittal was based upon a general
verdict . . . [the rule of collateral estoppel] requires a court
" '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."
at 397 U. S.
Here, as in Ashe,
petitioner contends that his identity
as one of the robbers was the sole disputed issue at each of his
trials. The District Court of Appeal, however,
Page 403 U. S. 386
declined to examine the record of the second trial, but simply
held, instead, as a matter of law, that, while petitioner's
acquittal at the second trial entitled him to invoke collateral
estoppel, his conviction at the first trial (where the sufficiency
of the evidence was not disputed on appeal) gave rise to a
"double collateral estoppel in that, by application of this
doctrine, appellant is estopped from contending without further
proof that the State failed to prove the issue of his identity as
one of the robbers on . . . the second trial inasmuch as, on the
first trial, a jury had found above and beyond a reasonable doubt
that appellant was a participant in the robbery."
Simpson v. State,
237 So. 2d 341, 342 (Fla.App.
The Supreme Court of Florida, by a divided vote, declined
review, and petitioner filed a timely petition for a writ of
certiorari with this Court. We grant the writ, and we vacate the
The ground upon which the state court resolved petitioner's
contention is plainly not tenable. Indeed, in Ashe
we specifically noted that "mutuality" was not an ingredient of the
collateral estoppel rule imposed by the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments upon the States. Ashe, supra,
at 397 U. S. 443
It is clear that Florida could not have retried petitioner a third
time on the charge of robbing the store manager simply because it
had previously secured a jury verdict of guilty as well as one of
acquittal. And, had the second trial never occurred, the prosecutor
could not, while trying the case under review, have laid the first
jury verdict before the trial judge and demanded an instruction to
the jury that, as a matter of law, petitioner was one of the armed
robbers in the store that night. It must, therefore, be equally
clear that, unless the jury verdict in the second trial "could have
[been] grounded . . . upon an issue other than that which the
defendant seeks to foreclose
Page 403 U. S. 387
from consideration," the constitutional guarantee against being
twice put in jeopardy for the same offense vitiates petitioner's
The judgment of the Florida District Court of Appeal is vacated,
and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings not
inconsistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL took no part in the decision of this
MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins.
The robbery of the manager and the robbery of the customer grew
out of one criminal episode. I agree with the Court's disposition,
but, for the reasons stated in my concurring opinion in Ashe v.
Swenson, 397 U. S. 436
397 U. S. 448
(1970), I would also hold that, on the facts of this case, the
Double Jeopardy Clause prohibited Florida from prosecuting
petitioner for the robbery of the customer.
The CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN dissent for the
reasons given in the dissenting opinion of THE CHIEF JUSTICE in
Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U. S. 436
397 U. S.