Flynt v. Ohio
Annotate this Case
451 U.S. 619 (1981)
U.S. Supreme Court
Flynt v. Ohio, 451 U.S. 619 (1981)
Flynt v. Ohio
Argued March 24, 1981
Decided May 18, 1981
451 U.S. 619
In a prosecution charging petitioners with disseminating obscenity in violation of Ohio law, the trial court granted their motions to dismiss the complaints on the ground that they had been subjected to selective and discriminatory prosecution in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Ohio Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for trial, finding the evidence insufficient to support the allegations of discriminatory prosecution. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed.
Held: Because the Ohio Supreme Court's decision was not a final judgment within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1257, the writ of certiorari previously granted by this Court is dismissed for want of jurisdiction. In the context of a criminal prosecution, finality of judgment is normally defined by the imposition of a sentence. Here there has been no finding of guilt and no sentence imposed. Nor is the Ohio Supreme Court's decision a final judgment within any of the four exceptions to the general rule identified in Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U. S. 469. Resolution of the question whether the obscenity prosecution of petitioners was selective or discriminatory in violation of the Equal Protection Clause can await final judgment in the state criminal proceeding without any adverse effect upon important federal interests.
Certiorari dismissed. Reported below: 63 Ohio St.2d 132, 407 N.E.2d 15.