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Miller v. United States

United States Supreme Court
471 U.S. 130 (1985)


Miller (defendant) was charged under a grand jury indictment with acts of mail fraud relating to a staged burglary and subsequent misrepresentations of the value of his claim. One set of allegations charged Miller with fraud by consenting in advance to the burglary. A second set of allegations charged Miller with lying to his insurer about the value of materials stolen during the burglary. The government moved to strike the allegations of the indictment relating to Miller’s advance consent to the burglary. Miller insisted that the entire indictment be presented to the grand jury. Miller was convicted by a jury and appealed the judgment of conviction. Miller argued that the conviction violated his Fifth Amendment right to be tried only on a grand jury indictment because the guilty verdict was based solely upon evidence relating to the second set of allegations. The court of appeals concluded that it was possible that the grand jury would have issued no charges at all if the only evidence presented for its consideration had pertained to the second set of allegations. The court of appeals held that the prosecutorial amendment violated Miller’s right to be tried only on a grand jury indictment and vacated his conviction. The United States (plaintiff) petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

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