451 U.S. 619 (1981), 80-420, Flynt v. Ohio

Docket Nº:No. 80-420
Citation:451 U.S. 619, 101 S.Ct. 1958, 68 L.Ed.2d 489
Party Name:Flynt v. Ohio
Case Date:May 18, 1981
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 619

451 U.S. 619 (1981)

101 S.Ct. 1958, 68 L.Ed.2d 489

Flynt

v.

Ohio

No. 80-420

United States Supreme Court

May 18, 1981

Argued March 24, 1981

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO

Syllabus

In a prosecution charging petitioners with disseminating obscenity in violation of Ohio law, the trial court granted their motions to dismiss the complaints on the ground that they had been subjected to selective and discriminatory prosecution in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Ohio Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for trial, finding the evidence insufficient to support the allegations of discriminatory prosecution. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed.

Held: Because the Ohio Supreme Court's decision was not a final judgment within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1257, the writ of certiorari previously granted by this Court is dismissed for want of jurisdiction. In the context of a criminal prosecution, finality of judgment is normally defined by the imposition of a sentence. Here there has been no finding of guilt and no sentence imposed. Nor is the Ohio Supreme Court's decision a final judgment within any of the four exceptions to the general rule identified in Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469. Resolution of the question whether the obscenity prosecution of petitioners was selective or discriminatory in violation of the Equal Protection Clause can await final judgment in the state criminal proceeding without any adverse effect upon important federal interests.

Certiorari dismissed. Reported below: 63 Ohio St.2d 132, 407 N.E.2d 15.

Page 620

Per curiam opinion.

PER CURIAM.

On July 14, 1976, criminal complaints were issued against petitioners charging them with disseminating obscenity in violation of Ohio Rev.Code Ann. § 2907.32 (1975). The Municipal Court granted petitioners' motions to dismiss the complaints on the ground that petitioners had been subjected to selective and discriminatory prosecution in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court of Appeals of Ohio reversed, finding the evidence insufficient to support petitioners' allegations of selective and discriminatory prosecution. The case was remanded for trial. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed. 63 Ohio St.2d 132, 407 N.E.2d 15 (1980). We granted certiorari. 449 U.S. 1033 (1980). Because the decision of the Ohio Supreme Court was not a final judgment within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1257, we dismiss the writ for want of jurisdiction.

Consistent with the relevant jurisdictional statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1257, the Court's jurisdiction to review a state court decision is generally limited to a final judgment rendered by the highest court of the State in which decision may be had. Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469, 476-477...

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