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United States v. Broce
United States Supreme Court
488 U.S. 563 (1989)
The United States government (plaintiff) charged Broce and Broce’s construction company (defendants) with two separate counts of conspiring to rig bids in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Broce and his company entered guilty pleas as to both conspiracy charges and were convicted of both counts of conspiracy. In a separate lawsuit, Robert Beachner and a company he owned faced similar bid-rigging conspiracy charges. Beachner and his company were acquitted at trial and then charged again with different bid-rigging conspiracy charges. Beachner successfully argued that the new charges were part of the earlier conspiracy for which he was acquitted. The court found that the new charges were thus barred by double jeopardy which prevents more than one conviction for a single crime. Broce became aware of Beachner’s case and attempted to make the same argument in his case, claiming that there was only one conspiracy so the second charge of conspiracy should be set aside. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
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