Hudson v. Louisiana,
450 U.S. 40 (1981)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hudson v. Louisiana, 450 U.S. 40 (1981)

Hudson v. Louisiana

No. 75688

Argued December 1, 1980

Decided February 24, 1981

450 U.S. 40


Held: Louisiana violated the Double Jeopardy Clause by prosecuting petitioner a second time for first-degree murder after the judge at the first trial granted petitioner's motion for new trial on the ground that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the jury's guilty verdict. This case is controlled by Burks v. United States, 437 U. S. 1 (decided before the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed petitioner's conviction after the second trial), which held that "the Double Jeopardy Clause precludes a second trial once the reviewing court has found the evidence legally insufficient" to support the guilty verdict. Id. at 437 U. S. 18. Burks is not to be read as holding that double jeopardy protections are violated only when the prosecution has adduced no evidence at all of the crime or an element thereof. The record does not support the State's contention that the trial judge granted a new trial only because, as a "13th juror," he entertained personal doubts about the verdict and would have decided it differently from the other 12 jurors. The record shows instead that he granted the new trial because the State had failed to prove its case as a matter of law. Pp. 450 U. S. 425.

373 So.2d 1294, reversed.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

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