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Evans v. Michigan
United States Supreme Court
568 U.S. 313 (2013)
Lamar Evans (defendant) was accused of burning down an unoccupied home. In its prosecution, the state (plaintiff) charged Evans with “burning other real property.” At the close of the state’s case, Evans moved for a directed verdict of acquittal. Evans pointed out that although regular arson required the offender to burn the dwelling house of another, the law he was charged under stated that the building could not be a dwelling house. The state’s evidence showed that the burned building was in fact a dwelling house, so the trial court granted Evans’s acquittal. The state appealed to the Court of Appeals of Michigan. The appeals court reversed and remanded for further proceedings, finding that the trial court had made a mistake of law. The appeals court held that the burning of other real property was a lesser included offense of arson under Michigan law that did not require the state to prove that the burned building was not a dwelling house. The appeals court also found that Evans could be retried for the offense without violating the Double Jeopardy Clause. Evans appealed, and the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed. Evans appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sotomayor, J.)
Dissent (Alito, J.)
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