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United States v. Jorn

United States Supreme Court
400 U.S. 470 (1971)


Facts

Jorn (defendant) was accused of 25 counts of preparing fraudulent tax returns. The United States (plaintiff) moved to dismiss 14 counts after the trial jury had been sworn. After calling an agent of the Internal Revenue Service to introduce documentary evidence, the government proceeded to call the first of five additional witnesses who had been assisted by Jorn with the preparation of their tax returns. The trial judge inquired whether the witnesses had been warned of their constitutional privilege against self-incrimination. The witnesses stated that they had been informed of the privilege by IRS agents, but the judge was concerned that the IRS warning might have been insufficient. The judge aborted the trial to allow the witnesses to consult legal counsel before testifying. The case was scheduled for retrial before a new jury. Jorn moved to dismiss the case on double jeopardy grounds. The trial court dismissed the charges. The United States appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

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