420 U.S. 358 (1975), 73-1513, United States v. Jenkins

Docket Nº:No. 73-1513
Citation:420 U.S. 358, 95 S.Ct. 1006, 43 L.Ed.2d 250
Party Name:United States v. Jenkins
Case Date:February 25, 1975
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 358

420 U.S. 358 (1975)

95 S.Ct. 1006, 43 L.Ed.2d 250

United States

v.

Jenkins

No. 73-1513

United States Supreme Court

Feb. 25, 1975

Argued December 9, 1974

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

Syllabus

After respondent was ordered to report for induction, his local draft board refused to postpone his induction to allow him to claim a conscientious objector classification, and he was subsequently indicted for refusing and failing to report for induction. Following a bench trial, the District Court "dismissed" the indictment and "discharged" respondent, holding that, although, under Ehlert v. United States, 402 U.S. 99, the board was not required to entertain conscientious objector claims arising between notice of induction and the scheduled induction date, nevertheless, since respondent failed to report at a time when Ehlert had not yet been decided and when the prevailing law of the Circuit required a local board to reopen a registrant's classification if his conscientious objector views ripened only after he had been notified to report for induction, respondent was entitled to a postponement of induction until the board considered his conscientious objector claim, and that it would be unfair to apply Ehlert to respondent. The Court of Appeals dismissed the Government's appeal under 18 U.S.C. § 3731 on the ground that it was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause, concluding that, although the District Court had characterized its action as a dismissal of the indictment, respondent had, in effect, been acquitted, since the District Court had relied upon facts developed at trial and had concluded "that the statute should not be applied to [respondent] as a matter of fact."

Held: Although it is not clear whether or not the District Court's judgment discharging respondent was a resolution of the factual issues against the Government, it suffices for double jeopardy purposes, and therefore for determining appealability under 18 U.S.C. § 3731, that further proceedings of some sort, devoted to resolving factual issues going to the elements of the offense [95 S.Ct. 1008] charged and resulting in supplemental findings, would have been required upon reversal and remand. The trial, which could have resulted in a conviction, has long since terminated in respondent's favor, and to subject him to any

Page 359

further proceedings, even if the District Court were to receive no additional evidence, would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. Pp. 365-370.

490 F.2d 868, affirmed.

REHNQUIST, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and POWELL, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a statement concurring in the judgment, in which BRENNAN, J., joined, post, p. 370.

REHNQUIST, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

Respondent Jenkins was indicted and charged with violating § 12(a) of the Military Selective Service Act, 62 Stat. 622, as amended, 50 U.S.C.App. § 462(a), for "knowingly refusing and failing to submit to induction into the armed forces of the United States." App. 3. After a bench trial, the District Court "dismissed" the indictment and "discharged" the respondent. 349 F.Supp. 1068, 1073 (EDNY 1972). The Government sought to appeal this ruling pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3731,1 but the

Page 360

Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed the appeal "for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the Double Jeopardy clause prohibits further prosecution." 490 F.2d 868, 880 (1973). We granted certiorari in this case and United States v. Wilson, ante, p. 332, also decided today, to consider the application of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to Government appeals in criminal cases. 417 U.S. 908 (1974).

I

Respondent, who had first registered with his local draft board in 1966, was classified 1-A by his local board on November 18, 1970. He was found physically fit for induction, and, on February 4, 1971, the local board sent respondent an Order to Report for Induction on February 24, 1971. After consulting an attorney and a local draft counselor, respondent wrote the local board and requested Selective Service Form 150 for a conscientious objector classification. Having received no response from the local board by February 23, the day before he had been ordered to report for induction, respondent went in person to the local board to request Form 150. Although respondent did secure the desired form, local board officials were directed by Selective Service headquarters not to postpone his induction to allow him to complete and submit the conscientious objector form. Respondent did not report for induction on February 24, 1971, and he was subsequently indicted.

Respondent was arraigned on January 13, 1972, and pleaded not guilty. The parties were directed to file all pretrial motions within 45 days, but no pretrial motions

Page 361

were filed within that period. The case was called and continued on several occasions. During this period, respondent filed a motion for judgment of acquittal based, in part, on the following ground:

The failure of the local board to postpone the induction order pending the determination of the defendant's claim as a conscientious objector was arbitrary and contrary to law, and rendered the Order to report for induction invalid. United States v. Gearey, 368 F.2d 144 (2nd Cir.1966).

App. 4. In Gearey, the Court of Appeals had interpreted the controlling Selective Service regulation2 to require a local board to reopen a registrant's classification if it found that the registrant's conscientious objector views had ripened only after he had been notified to [95 S.Ct. 1009] report for

Page 362

induction. At the time respondent was ordered to report for induction, Gearey remained the law of the Circuit. Two months later, however, this Court rejected Gearey in a decision affirming a contrary holding from another Circuit. Ehlert v. United States, 402 U.S. 99 (1971).

When the case proceeded to trial, respondent waived trial to a jury, and the case was tried to the court. At the close of the evidence, the court reserved decision in order to give the parties an opportunity to submit proposed findings. Although it does not appear from the record that either party requested the court to find the facts specially, Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 23(c), the court filed written findings of fact and conclusions of law, and directed that the indictment be dismissed and the respondent be discharged. The court acknowledged that respondent had failed to report for induction as ordered, 349 F.Supp. at 1070, and that, under Ehlert, the board is not required to entertain conscientious objector claims arising between notice of induction and the scheduled induction date. Nevertheless, since respondent failed to report for induction at a time when Ehlert had not yet been decided and Gearey represented the prevailing law, respondent was entitled to a postponement of induction until the board considered his conscientious objector claim. The court reasoned that it would be unfair to apply Ehlert to respondent:

This court cannot permit the criminal prosecution...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP