ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Geoffrey A. Rivers Jeffrey A. Modisett
Joseph P. Hunter Attorney General of Indiana
Preston W. Black
Deputy Attorney General
) EDDIE GRIFFIN, ) Defendant-Appellant, ) ) v. ) 18S02-9910-CR-505 ) STATE OF INDIANA, ) Plaintiff-Appellee. )_________________________________________________
APPEAL FROM THE DELAWARE SUPERIOR COURT The Honorable Robert Barnet, Judge Cause No. 18D01-9307-CF-39
The defendant-appellant, Eddie Griffin, was convicted of robbery, a class A
and conspiracy to commit robbery, a class A felony.See footnote
The Court of Appeals
affirmed. Griffin v. State, 692 N.E.2d 468 (Ind. Ct. App.), reh'g granted in part and
denied in part, 694 N.E.2d 304 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998). He seeks transfer on grounds that
one or both of his convictions are barred by the principles of double jeopardy and
collateral estoppel. In light of our decision today in Richardson v. State, --- N.E.2d ---
(Ind. 1999), we grant transfer.
The defendant's convictions resulted from the second of two trials. In the first trial, he faced charges of robbery, murder, and conspiracy to commit robbery. The jury acquitted him of felony murder but was unable to reach a verdict on the robbery and conspiracy charges, and the trial court declared a mistrial as to these two charges. In the second trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial court sentenced him to concurrent 30-year sentences on each of these convictions.
The defendant's convictions in his second trial stem from his alleged participation in a series of events with three companions, Joseph Hartman, Shane Craig, and Scott Ransom. According to evidence primarily consisting of the testimony of Craig,See footnote 3 in early June of 1993, Hartman, a long-time friend of the defendant, was awaiting sentencing in
an unrelated case. Hartman decided to leave town before the sentencing, but he needed money to give effect to his plan. Hartman met with the defendant, Craig, and Ransom and discussed alternative ways to obtain cash so that they could all leave town with Hartman. Finally, a plan was hatched: the four men would arrange to buy a large quantity of marijuana from David Turner, a drug dealer; but rather than buy the marijuana, they would attack Turner and take the drugs from him; and they would then sell the marijuana to provide cash in order to leave town. The defendant suggested that they rob Turner at a house owned by the defendant's step-father and mother and sometimes occupied by the defendant and his friends. On June 15, Hartman contacted Turner, indicating that he wanted to purchase ten pounds of marijuana, and arranged to meet Turner at a hotel. Hartman met Turner at the hotel and discussed the drug transaction. Turner and Hartman then went to the house where the defendant, Craig, and Ransom were lying in wait. When Hartman and Turner entered the residence, Craig struck Turner twice on the head with a wooden table leg. Turner's hands were taped behind his back, and the defendant struck Turner with a piece of metal. A plastic bag was placed over Turner's head; the air was squeezed out; and the bag was taped shut, suffocating him. The four men then waited for Turner to die.See footnote 4 Subsequently, they discussed how to dispose of Turner's body, and Hartman, Craig, and Ransom dumped the
body in a remote field. After selling some of the marijuana, the four men headed west to
Fort Collins, Colorado. While in Colorado, the men received by wire more proceeds
from the sale of the marijuana. The men also traveled to Texas and then to Florida where
they were arrested. The four men were each charged with robbery, murder, and
conspiracy to commit robbery.See footnote
The defendant asserts (1) that his double jeopardy rights were violated when he was retried on the charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery after he was acquitted on the charge of felony murder, (2) that collateral estoppel barred the relitigation of issues in the second trial that were litigated to a valid, final judgment in the first trial, and (3) that his double jeopardy rights were violated when he was convicted of both robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in his second trial.
Prohibitions against double jeopardy protect against:
(1) reprosecution for an offense after a defendant has already been convicted of
the same offense in a previous prosecution; (2) reprosecution of a defendant after
an acquittal; (3) multiple punishments for the same offense in a single trial; (4)
reprosecution of a defendant after the conviction has been reversed for insufficient
evidence; (5) criminal reprosecution of a defendant in limited circumstances
following a previous civil prosecution; (6) reprosecution of a defendant in limited
circumstances after a mistrial has been declared.
Richardson, --- N.E.2d at --- n.3 (slip op. at 2 n.3) (citations omitted). This case presents a complex assortment of double jeopardy and related issues_subsequent prosecution after an acquittal, reprosecution after a mistrial, multiple punishments, and collateral
estoppel_implicating the second, third, and sixth of these protections.
for the same offense after acquittal) (citing Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 78
S.Ct. 221, 2 L.Ed.2d 199 (1957); United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662, 671, 16 S.Ct. 1192,
1195, 41 L.Ed. 300, 303 (1896) (The verdict of acquittal was final, and could not be
reviewed, on error or otherwise, without putting [the defendant] twice in jeopardy, and
thereby violating the Constitution.). The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a verdict of
acquittal, however erroneous, is an absolute bar to a subsequent prosecution for the same
offense. Green, 355 U.S. at 188, 78 S.Ct. at 223-24, 2 L.Ed.2d at 204 ([I]t has long been
settled under the Fifth Amendment that a verdict of acquittal is final, ending a
defendant's jeopardy, and even when 'not followed by any judgment, is a bar to a
subsequent prosecution for the same offence.' . . . Thus it is one of the elemental
principles of our criminal law that the Government cannot secure a new trial by means of
an appeal even though an acquittal may appear to be erroneous.) (quoting Ball, 163 U.S.
at 671, 16 S.Ct. at 1195, 41 L.Ed. at 303) (citations omitted). Thus, any retrial or
subsequent prosecution of the defendant on the felony murder charge would clearly
violate the defendant's federal and state double jeopardy rights.
The State, however, did not retry or subsequently prosecute the defendant on the felony murder charge, but instead retried the defendant on the robbery and conspiracy charges, upon which the jury had been unable to reach a verdict. Thus, we must determine whether the robbery, of which the defendant was convicted in the second trial, constitutes the same offense as the felony murder charge, of which he was acquitted in the first trial.
under the federal Blockburger test, the defendant's retrial on the robbery charge is not
precluded by federal double jeopardy principles. The Blockburger test does not always
determine whether there is a double jeopardy violation because the same offense issue
is only one aspect of double jeopardy jurisprudence.
Other aspects of federal double jeopardy jurisprudence are relevant to this case.See footnote 10 Even though two or more charged offenses may constitute the same offense under the Blockburger test, a defendant may be tried in the same proceeding for multiple offenses, including greater and lesser included offenses, because the jeopardy is simultaneous. See Jeffers v. United States, 432 U.S. 137, 152 & n.20, 97 S.Ct. 2207, 2217 & n.20, 53 L.Ed.2d 168, 181 & n.20 (1977) (a defendant is normally entitled to have charges on a greater and lesser offense resolved in one proceeding) (plurality opinion); United States v. Larkin, 605 F.2d 1360, 1367-68 (5th Cir. 1979), modified on reh'g on other grounds, 611 F.2d 585 (1980), cert. denied, 446 U.S. 939, 100 S.Ct. 2160, 64 L.Ed.2d 793 (1980).
Furthermore, a defendant may be retried for a lesser offense, of which he was convicted at the first trial, after that conviction is reversed on appeal, and this is true even though the first trial also resulted in a verdict of acquittal on a greater offense. See Price v. Georgia, 398 U.S. 323, 326-27, 90 S.Ct. 1757, 1759-60, 26 L.Ed.2d 300, 304 (1970). In Price, the defendant was tried simultaneously on murder and manslaughter charges and
was convicted of the lesser offense. The conviction was reversed on appeal, and the
defendant was retried and convicted on both charges. The Supreme Court reversed the
murder conviction obtained in the second trial on the ground that the acquittal on that
charge in the first trial barred its reprosecution, but the Court indicated that a retrial on
the manslaughter charge was proper:
[A] concept of continuing jeopardy . . . has application where criminal proceedings against an accused have not run their full course . . . .
The continuing jeopardy principle necessarily is applicable to this case. Petitioner sought and obtained the reversal of his initial conviction for voluntary manslaughter by taking an appeal. Accordingly, no aspect of the bar on double jeopardy prevented his retrial for that crime.
The doctrine of continuing jeopardy applies in the context of mistrials. Early in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the federal Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the reprosecution of a defendant when a trial court terminates the first trial by discharging a jury that is unable to agree on a verdict. United States v. Perez, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 579, 580, 6 L.Ed. 165, 165-66 (1824). The Court reasoned that the law has invested courts of justice with the authority to discharge a jury from giving any verdict, whenever, in their opinion, taking all the circumstances into consideration, there is a manifest necessity for the act, and when the trial judge permits the defendant to be retried because the ends of public justice would otherwise be defeated. Id. at 580, 6 L.Ed. at 165. The Court has held that the federal Double Jeopardy Clause does not prohibit a retrial when the mistrial was a manifest necessity, even if the mistrial is
declared over the defendant's objection. Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 98 S.Ct.
824, 54 L.Ed.2d 717 (1978). The Court explained that, without exception, the courts
have held that the trial judge may discharge a genuinely deadlocked jury and require the
defendant to submit to a second trial. This rule accords recognition to society's interest
in giving the prosecution one complete opportunity to convict those who have violated its
laws. Id. at 509, 98 S.Ct. at 832, 54 L.Ed.2d at 730. The Court has also held that the
federal Double Jeopardy Clause generally does not bar a defendant's retrial when the first
trial for the same crime ends in a mistrial at the defendant's request or when the
defendant acquiesces in the mistrial. U.S. v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600, 96 S.Ct. 1075, 47
L.Ed.2d 267 (1976).
Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that a retrial following a 'hung jury' does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. Richardson v. United States, 468 U.S. 317, 324, 104 S.Ct. 3081, 3085, 82 L.Ed.2d 242, 250 (1984) (citing Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. 263, 297-98, 12 S.Ct. 617, 628, 36 L.Ed. 429, 441 (1892)). The Court has stated:
The double-jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment, however, does not mean that every time a defendant is put to trial before a competent tribunal he is entitled to go free if the trial fails to end in a final judgment. Such a rule would create an insuperable obstacle to the administration of justice in many cases in which there is no semblance of the type of oppressive practices at which the double-jeopardy prohibition is aimed. There may be unforeseeable circumstances that arise during a trial making its completion impossible, such as the failure of a jury to agree on a verdict. In such event the purpose of law to protect society from those guilty of crimes frequently would be frustrated by denying courts power to put the defendant to trial again. . . . What has been said is enough to show that a defendant's valued right to have his trial completed by a particular tribunal must in
some instances be subordinated to the public's interest in fair trials designed to end
in just judgments.
Wade v. Hunter, 336 U.S. 684, 688-89, 69 S.Ct. 834, 837, 93 L.Ed. 974, 978 (1949). In Richardson, the U.S. Supreme Court, explaining that a hung jury is [not] the equivalent of an acquittal, held:
[T]he failure of the jury to reach a verdict is not an event which terminates jeopardy. . . . [A] trial court's declaration of a mistrial following a hung jury is not an event that terminates the original jeopardy to which [the defendant] was subjected. The Government, like the defendant, is entitled to resolution of the case by verdict from the jury, and jeopardy does not terminate when the jury is discharged because it is unable to agree.
Richardson, 468 U.S. at 325-26, 104 S.Ct. at 3086, 82 L.Ed.2d at 251. Thus, the concept of continuing jeopardy applies to a mistrial caused by a deadlocked jury. See, e.g., United States v. Sanford, 429 U.S. 14, 97 S.Ct. 20, 50 L.Ed.2d 17 (1976) (per curiam); Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736, 83 S.Ct. 1033, 1034, 10 L.Ed.2d 100, 102 (1963); Green, 355 U.S. at 188, 78 S.Ct. at 224, 2 L.Ed.2d at 205. Likewise, in cases in which the prosecutor charges different offenses in separate counts and the jury reaches a verdict as to some counts but not as to others, the jury may render a verdict as to the charge or charges upon which the jurors do agree, and the charges on which they do not agree may be tried again. See Selvester v. United States, 170 U.S. 262, 269-70, 18 S.Ct. 580, 582-83, 42 L.Ed. 1029, 1032 (1898). The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that an acquittal on a greater offense does not preclude a retrial on a lesser offense to which continuing jeopardy has attached, and this result obtains whether the applicability of continuing jeopardy results from an appellate reversal of a conviction as in Price or
from a mistrial caused by a deadlocked jury. Larkin, 605 F.2d at 1369 (citing United
States v. Scott, 464 F.2d 832 (D.C. Cir. 1972); Forsberg v. United States, 351 F.2d 242
(9th Cir. 1965).
In Green, 355 U.S. 184, 78 S.Ct. 221, 2 L.Ed.2d 199, the Supreme Court discussed the doctrine of implied acquittal. In Green, the jury at the first trial was instructed on the offenses of first- and second-degree murder and found that the defendant was guilty of second-degree murder. The defendant's conviction was reversed on appeal. On remand, the defendant was again tried for first- and second-degree murder and ultimately convicted of first-degree murder. The Supreme Court held that the defendant's retrial on the charge of first-degree murder subjected him to double jeopardy. Id. at 191, 78 S.Ct. at 225, 2 L.Ed.2d at 206 ([T]his case can be treated no differently, for purposes of former jeopardy, than if the jury had returned a verdict which expressly read: 'We find the defendant not guilty of murder in the first degree but guilty of murder in the second degree.'). See also Price, 398 U.S. at 329, 90 S.Ct. at 1761, 26 L.Ed.2d at 305 ([T]his Court has consistently refused to rule that jeopardy for an offense continues after an acquittal, whether that acquittal is express or implied by a conviction on a lesser included offense when the jury was given a full opportunity to return a verdict on the greater charge.). The Court held that if the jury is given a full opportunity to return a verdict on the greater offense and instead convicts on a lesser offense, an implicit acquittal with respect to the greater offense results. Green, 335 U.S. at 191, 78 S.Ct. at 225, 2 L.Ed.2d at 206. The Court has summarized Green as hold[ing] only that when one is convicted
of a lesser offense included in that charged in the original indictment, he can be retried
only for the offense of which he was convicted rather than that with which he was
originally charged. United States v. Tateo, 377 U.S. 463, 465 n.1, 84 S.Ct. 1587, 1589
n.1, 12 L.Ed.2d 448, 450 n.1 (1964). The Michigan Supreme Court summarized the
Green holding as follows: a defendant may be retried for any of the lesser included
offenses, but may not be retried for an offense greater than the one of which he was
originally convicted. People v. Garcia, 531 N.W.2d 683, 690 (Mich. 1995).
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that, where a defendant has been tried and convicted of a lesser included offense, he cannot be subsequently tried in a separate prosecution for the greater offense without violating double jeopardy. Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 97 S.Ct. 2221, 53 L.Ed.2d 187 (1977). The Court, however, clearly limited the application of this holding to separate prosecutions, stating that [w]e are not concerned here with the double jeopardy questions that may arise when a defendant is retried on the same charge after a mistrial. . . .See footnote 11 Id. at 165 n.5, 97 S.Ct. at 2225 n.5, 53 L.Ed.2d at 194 n.5.
In the present case, the defendant's federal double jeopardy rights would have been violated had he been convicted and sentenced for both felony murder and the underlying felony because the conviction for murder during the commission of a felony
would necessarily require proof of the underlying felony.See footnote
Harris v. Oklahoma, 433 U.S.
682, 682, 97 S.Ct. 2912, 2913, 53 L.Ed.2d 1054, 1056 (1977); Hobson v. State, 675
N.E.2d 1090, 1094 (Ind. 1996); Kennedy v. State, 674 N.E.2d 966, 967 (Ind. 1996);
Gregory-Bey v. State, 669 N.E.2d 154, 157 (Ind. 1996); Moore v. State, 652 N.E.2d 53,
59 (Ind. 1995); Swafford v. State, 498 N.E.2d 1188, 1191 (Ind. 1986); Eddy v. State, 496
N.E.2d 24, 29 (Ind. 1986); Williams v. State, 426 N.E.2d 662, 670 (Ind. 1981); Mitchell
v. State, 270 Ind. 4, 7, 382 N.E.2d 932, 934 (1978) (The United States Supreme Court
has held that where a felony murder conviction requires proof of the underlying felony,
the two offenses are considered to be the 'same' within the meaning of the Double
Jeopardy Clause.) (citing Harris, 433 U.S. 682, 97 S.Ct. 2912, 53 L.Ed.2d 1054). But
the defendant was not convicted on the felony murder by robbery charge. He was instead
acquitted. Subsequently, he was retried on the robbery charge after a mistrial because the
jury was unable to reach a verdict and then convicted of robbery.
From the rule that a defendant may not be convicted and sentenced for both felony
murder and the underlying felony it does not logically follow that a defendant's federal
double jeopardy rights are violated when, in one trial, a defendant is acquitted of felony
murder but convicted and sentenced for the underlying felonySee footnote
or, as in this case, when a
defendant is acquitted of felony murder, retried for the underlying felony because the first
trial resulted in a mistrial on that charge, and then convicted and sentenced for the
underlying offense.See footnote
While the State is required to prove all the essential elements of the
felony murder including the underlying felony in order for the jury to convict the
defendant of felony murder, a verdict of acquittal on the felony murder charge would not
necessarily require the jury to have found the underlying felony was not proven. Stated
differently, in order to acquit of felony murder, the fact-finder would not necessarily have
determined that the underlying felony was not proven.
In this case, we cannot conclude that the acquittal on the felony murder charge resulted from any failure by the State to prove the elements of the robbery. The jury could not reach a verdict on the robbery and conspiracy charges, and, for this reason, the
judge declared a mistrial as to those charges. If the State had failed to prove the robbery, the underlying felony, we presume that the jury would have reached a verdict of acquittal. We hold that the defendant was not placed in jeopardy twice for the same offense. Rather, the initial jeopardy, which was suspended because of mistrial, continued upon retrial.See footnote 15 We conclude, therefore, that the defendant's federal double jeopardy rights were not violated when he was retried on the robbery charge after he was acquitted of felony
murder in the first trial and a mistrial was declared on the other two charges.See footnote
same parties in any future lawsuit. Id. at 443, 90 S.Ct. at 1194, 25 L.Ed.2d at 475. See
also Harris v. Washington, 404 U.S. 55, 92 S.Ct. 183, 30 L.Ed.2d 212 (1971); Bonham v.
State, 644 N.E.2d 1223, 1226 (Ind. 1994) ('Generally, collateral estoppel operates to bar
a subsequent relitigation of the same fact or issue where that fact or issue was necessarily
adjudicated in a former suit and the same fact or issue is presented in the subsequent
lawsuit.') (quoting Sullivan v. American Cas. Co., 605 N.E.2d 134, 137 (Ind. 1992)).
The interplay between double jeopardy and collateral estoppel has been described this
[W]hile the parent doctrine of double jeopardy bars a subsequent prosecution based on a different section of the criminal code when the evidence required to support a conviction upon one of [the indictments] would have been sufficient to warrant a conviction upon the other, its progeny, collateral estoppel, bars only the reintroduction or relitigation of facts already established against the government. To state the distinction in more prosaic terms, the traditional bar of jeopardy prohibits the prosecution of the crime itself, whereas collateral estoppel, in a more modest fashion, simply forbids the government from relitigating certain facts in order to establish the fact of the crime.
United States v. Mock, 604 F.2d 341, 343-44 (5th Cir.1979), quoted in Little v. State, 501 N.E.2d 412, 414 (Ind. 1986).
With the doctrine of collateral estoppel, the prime consideration is whether the party against whom the prior judgment is pled had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue and whether it would be otherwise unfair under the circumstances to permit the use of collateral estoppel. Bonham, 644 N.E.2d at 1226 (quoting Sullivan, 605 N.E.2d at 138). We have also noted: We agree that 'once a defendant has satisfied one jury that he is not guilty of a crime, constitutionally-rooted considerations of fairness preclude
the Government from injecting any issues necessarily decided in his favor into a second
trial for another offense.' Little, 501 N.E.2d at 415 (quoting United States v.
Mespoulede, 597 F.2d 329, 330 (2d Cir. 1979)).
When we apply the doctrine of collateral estoppel, we determine what the first judgment decided and examine how that determination bears on the second case. Webb v. State, 453 N.E.2d 180, 183 (Ind. 1983) (citing Mespoulede, 597 F.2d 329). Ashe further instructs:
Where a previous judgment of acquittal was based upon a general verdict, as is usually the case, this approach requires a court to examine the record of a prior proceeding, taking into account the pleadings, evidence, charge, and other relevant matter, and conclude whether a rational jury could have grounded its verdict upon an issue other than that which the defendant seeks to foreclose from consideration.
Ashe, 397 U.S. at 444, 90 S.Ct. at 1194, 25 L.Ed.2d at 475-76 (quotation marks and footnote omitted). As we further observed in Little:
Application of collateral estoppel in this context requires that the trial court determine what facts were necessarily decided in the first law suit. The court must examine the record of the prior proceeding, taking into consideration the pleadings, evidence, charge and other relevant matters. Ashe, 397 U.S. at 444, 90 S.Ct. at 1194, 25 L.Ed.2d at 475. Then the court must decide whether the government in a subsequent trial attempted to relitigate facts necessarily established against it in the first trial. See United States v. Mock, 604 F.2d at 343, 344. If so, evidence of the former offense must be suppressed. The federal decisions have made clear that the rule of collateral estoppel in criminal cases is not to be applied with the hypertechnical and archaic approach of a 19th century pleading book, but with realism and rationality. Ashe, 397 U.S. at 444, 90 S.Ct. at 1194, 25 L.Ed.2d at 475.
Little, 501 N.E.2d at 415. The Indiana Court of Appeals explained the application of this two-step process:
instruction required specific culpability, an element of proof not actually required by statute for the charged offense of felony murder. The jury was also instructed regarding accomplice liability and directed that it could find the defendant guilty of felony murder if it found felony murder committed by another person and if the jury also found that the defendant knowingly aided, induced, or caused the other person to commit an offense. Record at 1899-1900.See footnote 18 However, other instructions stated that [a] person engages in conduct 'knowingly' if, when he engages in the conduct, he is aware of a high probability that he is doing so, Record at 1896, and that [t]he State is only required to produce such
evidence as will satisfy you beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime charged was
committed by the defendant, as a principal or as an accessory, with the requisite intent,
Record at 1897. Considered together, we find that the instructions directed the jury in the
defendant's first trial that, even if the jury found that the defendant aided in the
commission of robbery, before it could find the defendant guilty of felony murder, the
State must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's participation in the
killing was knowing or intentional.
We find evidence in the first trial casting doubt on whether the defendant knowingly or intentionally participated in the killing. According to Craig's testimony,See footnote 19 Craig hit Turner twice on the head, the second blow knocking him to the floor unconscious. Ransom then taped Turner's hands behind his back with shipping tape. The defendant hit Turner on the head with a piece of metal and placed a plastic garbage bag over Turner's head.See footnote 20 Ransom pressed the air out of the bag and taped the bag tightly
around Turner's neck. Hartman, Craig, and Ransom drove in Hartman's truck to a
remote area to dispose of Turner's body, but the defendant refused to go along because he
did not want to ride in the truck with the body. According to Hartman's testimony,
Hartman was the middle man in the drug deal between Turner and Craig, and the profit
from this sale would provide Hartman with the money necessary to leave town. Hartman
also testified that Turner dropped Hartman off at the Hartman residence at around 9:00
p.m. and that Craig and Turner then left in Turner's car. Hartman testified that the
defendant was at the Hartman residence, lying on the couch sick, and that Craig and
Ransom were not at the Hartman residence. Craig and Ransom, according to Hartman's
testimony, returned to the Hartman residence around midnight.
The defendant testified that he did not have any conversation with Hartman, Ransom, Craig, or anyone else regarding robbing Turner of marijuana. He also testified that, on the day of the robbery, he was sick and spent the day at the Hartman residence on the couch. In his testimony he recounted that he saw Craig and Ransom on the day of the robbery, but that he did not hear any talk regarding the sale of any drugs that night. He also testified that, on the day of the robbery, he never went to the house where the robbery occurred, that he did not hit Turner on the head with any object, that he did not
plan to rob Turner, that he did not rob Turner or participate in the robbery, that he did not
put a bag over Turner's head, that he did not kill Turner, see him killed, or assist anyone
in the killing, and that he did not load Turner's body into a truck or dispose of the body in
the country. His testimony also was that he did not learn that Turner was dead until he
arrived back in Indiana, after being arrested in Florida. When Turner's body was
discovered, his hands were still taped behind his back. There were no obvious gun shot
or stab wounds or any fractures. Because the body was so badly decomposed, those
examining the body could not determine whether Turner died of suffocation, a broken
neck, or any other natural or unnatural cause, and they finally concluded that the cause of
death was undetermined homicidal violence.
We conclude that a rational jury could have acquitted the defendant of felony murder, under its instructions from the trial court, because the evidence did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly or intentionally killed Turner.
A second ground for our conclusion is that a rational jury could have acquitted the defendant of felony murder upon an issue other than those the defendant seeks to foreclose under the doctrine of collateral estoppel. We agree with the opinion of the Court of Appeals on rehearing in its analysis of the claim. Griffin, 694 N.E.2d 304. Writing for the court, Judge Kirsch stated:
The question, then, is whether a reasonable jury could have based its acquittal of Griffin of the felony murder upon any factor other than Griffin's participation in the robbery and conspiracy. We think it could. Because the cause of Turner's death was not known, it was reasonable for the jury to have concluded that the killing occurred after the robbery had been completed. Therefore, the felony
murder could reasonably have been based upon Griffin's non-participation in the
killing. A determination of Griffin's non-participation in the killing, does not
preclude relitigation of his participation in the robbery or the conspiracy, issues
the jury was unable to decide in the first trial. Griffin's retrial was not barred by
principles of collateral estoppel.
Id. at 306.
For each of these reasons, we therefore find that the first jury could reasonably
have grounded its verdict of acquittal upon an issue other than those the defendant now
seeks to foreclose from consideration. We hold that collateral estoppel did not bar the
retrial of the defendant on charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery_the
charges on which the first jury was unable to reach a verdict.
A. Federal Double Jeopardy
To convict of robbery, the State must prove the following essential elements under
the statute: the defendant knowingly or intentionally took property from David Turner or
from the presence of David Turner by using or threatening the use of force, or the
defendant knowingly or intentionally aided, induced, or caused another person to commit
robbery. Ind. Code §§ 35-42-5-1 & 35-41-2-4. The conspiracy statute provides in part:
(a) A person conspires to commit a felony when, with intent to commit the felony, he agrees with another person to commit the felony. A conspiracy to commit a felony is a felony of the same class as the underlying felony. . . .
(b) The state must allege and prove that either the person or the person with whom he agreed performed an overt act in furtherance of the agreement.
Ind. Code § 35-41-5-2. To convict of conspiracy to commit robbery, the State must prove the following essential elements: the defendant agreed with another person to commit the crime of robbery with the intent to commit the robbery and either the defendant or another party to the agreement performed an overt act in furtherance of the agreement.
Applying the Blockburger test, we find that both the robbery charge and the conspiracy charge contain at least one separate and distinct element. The robbery charge requires the State to prove that the defendant or his accomplice took property from Turner or from his presence, which is not required to prove the conspiracy charge, and the conspiracy charge requires the State to prove an agreement and at least one overt act in the furtherance of the agreement, which are not required to prove the robbery charge.
Under federal double jeopardy jurisprudence, robbery and conspiracy to commit
robbery are not the same offense.See footnote
We conclude, therefore, that the defendant's federal
double jeopardy rights were not violated.
the conspiracy charge. The defendant and three companions met to discuss and develop a
plan to get Turner to a certain house owned by the defendant's step-father and mother, to
beat Turner, and to take the marijuana from him. In furtherance of this agreement,
Hartman called Turner's beeper several times, arranged to have Turner meet Hartman at a
hotel and to bring ten pounds of marijuana, and met Turner at the hotel. Meanwhile, the
defendant, Craig, and Ransom went to the house where the robbery was to occur and
waited until Hartman and Turner arrived with the marijuana.
The jury's application of the evidence was directed by the court's instructions, which included the reading of the State's formal information charging conspiracy to commit robbery. This charge expressly alleged various overt acts in furtherance of the agreement: a series of meetings over several days involving the defendant, Hartman, Craig, and Ransom to discuss and agree to rob Turner; Hartman contacted Turner to request that he bring marijuana; Hartman met Turner at the motel; Hartman caused Turner to go to the residence; Craig and Ransom waited at the residence for Turner; Craig struck Turner on the head to render him unconscious; Ransom taped Turner's hands behind his back; a plastic bag was placed over Turner's head, suffocating him; and marijuana was taken from Turner's presence. The jury was thus informed that the completed robbery could be used to prove the overt act element required for conspiracy.
In support of the robbery charge, the trial evidence and reasonable inferences established that after Turner arrived at the house with the marijuana, Craig struck Turner twice with a wooden table leg; Ransom taped Turner's hands behind his back; the
defendant struck Turner with a piece of metal; a plastic bag was taped over Turner's
head; and Turner's marijuana was taken and delivered the next day to Doug Hoover, who
agreed to sell it. The applicable jury instructions did not require the jury to find the
existence of a prior agreement to rob in order to convict for robbery.
Considering the evidence presented of substantial advance preparation and the trial court's instructions for application of this evidence, we find no reasonable possibility that the evidentiary facts used by the jury to establish the essential elements of conspiracy to commit robbery may also have been used to establish the essential elements of robbery. To establish that two offenses are the same offense under the actual evidence test, the possibility must be reasonable, not speculative or remote. Applying the actual evidence test, the defendant's convictions for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery are thus not the same offense, and there is no violation of the Indiana Double Jeopardy Clause.
Geoffrey A. Rivers
Joseph P. Hunter
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Jeffrey A. Modisett
Attorney General of Indiana
Preston W. Black
Deputy Attorney General
EDDIE GRIFFIN, )
Appellant (Defendant Below), ) Indiana Supreme Court
) Cause No. 18S02-9910-CR-505
) Indiana Court of Appeals
STATE OF INDIANA, ) Cause No. 18A02-9609-CR-602
Appellee (Plaintiff Below). )
improper. As explained in my opinion concurring in result in Richardson v. State, N.E.2d
(Ind. 1999), I base this conclusion on the common law rule announced in Thompson v.
State, 259 Ind. 587, 592, 290 N.E.2d 724, 727 (1972), that requires convictions to be
supported by facts that were independently supportable, separate and distinct. In contrast,
this Court has often held that convictions for both conspiracy and the substantive crime are
not permitted where the overt act charged in the conspiracy offense is the substantive crime.
See, e.g., Derado v. State, 622 N.E.2d 181, 184 (1993). In light of the numerous overt acts
charged and the evidence of each presented at trial, I agree that there is no reasonable
possibility that the jury relied solely on the taking of marijuana (the robbery) as the overt act
for the conspiracy conviction. Accordingly, convictions on both are proper under Thompson.
SELBY, J., concurs.
burglary, child molesting, consumer product tampering, criminal deviate conduct,
kidnapping, rape, robbery, or carjacking; or
(3) kills another human being while committing or attempting to commit:
(A) dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug (IC 35-48-4-1);
(B) dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-2);
(C) dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-3); or
(D) dealing in a schedule V controlled substance;
commits murder, a felony.
Craig responded, They couldn't blame me. Record at 1205. Craig also acknowledged during cross-examination that he mentioned the plastic garbage bag and the defendant's and Ransom's involvement for the first time when he changed his plea on the robbery charge to guilty. According to Craig's testimony, Hartman, Ransom, and the defendant all denied any knowledge of the bag.
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