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Downum v. United States

United States Supreme Court
372 U.S. 734 (1963)


Facts

Downum (defendant) was brought to trial on multiple counts. Both the defense and the prosecution said they were ready and a jury was impaneled. Later that same day, before any evidence had been presented, the prosecution asked that the jury be discharged because the prosecution was missing a key witness on two counts. Downum asked that these two counts be dismissed and that the case continue on the other counts. The court denied the motion and discharged the jury. A new jury was impaneled two days later. Downum pleaded former jeopardy but his plea was overruled. The jury found Downum guilty. At the time the first jury was impaneled, the prosecution knew that it was missing one of its key witnesses.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Clark, J.)

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