896 F.2d 437 (10th Cir. 1990), 88-1799, United States v. Crotwell

Docket Nº:88-1799.
Citation:896 F.2d 437
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Forrest Vincent CROTWELL, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:February 12, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 437

896 F.2d 437 (10th Cir. 1990)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Forrest Vincent CROTWELL, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 88-1799.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

February 12, 1990

        Susan L. Foreman, Asst. Federal Public Defender, Denver, Colo. (Michael G. Katz, Federal Public Defender, Denver, Colo., with her on the briefs), for defendant-appellant.

        Susan Pennington, Asst. U.S. Atty., Tulsa, Okl. (Tony M. Graham, U.S. Atty., and Kenneth P. Snoke, Asst. U.S. Atty., Tulsa, Okl., on the brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

        Before BALDOCK and EBEL, Circuit Judges, and CONWAY, District Judge. [*]

        EBEL, Circuit Judge.

        This case presents the issue of whether the retrial and conviction of defendant-appellant Forrest Vincent Crotwell, after a mistrial had been declared over Crotwell's objection, violated the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Because we believe that the mistrial was not a "manifest necessity," we reverse Crotwell's convictions on grounds of double jeopardy.


        On May 5, 1987, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Crotwell and codefendant James Carrel Luman with one count of receipt and possession of goods stolen from an interstate shipment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 659. On December 1, 1987, a superseding indictment was returned charging defendant with one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18

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U.S.C. Sec. 371, three counts of receipt and possession of goods stolen from an interstate shipment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 659, and one count of receipt and possession of goods that had crossed a state boundary after having been stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2315.

        A jury trial began on or about February 29, 1988. On March 3, 1988, during the third day of the evidentiary portion of the trial, Loren Bocook, a government witness, suggested during the course of direct examination that Luman had been visiting a parole officer. 1 The government had not solicited the remark. See R.Vol. III at 3-4. However, the remark improperly exposed the jury to Luman's prior criminal history, and on March 3, just after Bocook made the improper remark, Luman's counsel requested a mistrial. Crotwell's counsel later joined in the motion for a mistrial. He noted that he would confer with his client, but he also stated that he did not "want to try this case again." R.2d Supp.Vol. I at 62. The government requested the trial judge to give a cautionary instruction to the jury in lieu of declaring a mistrial. Id.

        Later that same day, the trial judge held a hearing on the mistrial request. At that hearing, counsel for Crotwell took a different position and stated that he was in fact opposed to a mistrial and that the court should consider severing the case so that the trial could continue as to Crotwell. 2 The trial judge rejected the idea of severing the case and ordered a mistrial as to both defendants, stating that "from the standpoint of judicial economy that is the only way to proceed." R.Vol. III at 7.

        The retrial began on March 7, 1988, four days after the court declared a mistrial. Just prior to the selection of the jury for the retrial, counsel for Luman moved to dismiss the action based on double jeopardy and also moved for permission to question Loren Bocook before he testified in order to determine why he made the remark on March 3 that led to the earlier mistrial. Luman's counsel further moved for permission to question other government witnesses before they testified. The trial judge granted the motion to question Bocook and denied the double jeopardy motion and the motion to question other government witnesses. Counsel for Crotwell then stated that he wanted the record to reflect that he joined in the motions made by Luman's counsel. Motion Hearing, March 7, 1988, at 9.

        The trial concluded on March 23, 1988, and the jury found Crotwell guilty of all counts. On May 4, 1988, the trial judge sentenced Crotwell to a prison term of five years for the conspiracy count and to terms of ten years each for the other four counts, with each of the latter terms to run concurrently with each other, but consecutively to the five-year sentence for conspiracy. Crotwell filed his notice of appeal to this court on May 16, 1988. On appeal, Crotwell argues that the trial court improperly denied the double jeopardy motion. 3

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        The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." The primary purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause are: (1) to ensure the finality of judgments in criminal cases; (2) to minimize the defendant's exposure to the expense and emotional stress that a criminal proceeding entails; (3) to ensure that the government is not given an unfair opportunity to reformulate its case in light of what it learned during the first trial about the strengths of the defense and the weaknesses of its own case; (4) to protect the defendant's right to have his fate determined by the jury that was first empaneled and sworn; and (5) to ensure that multiple punishments are not imposed for the same offense. See United States v. DiFrancesco, 449 U.S. 117, 127-29, 101 S.Ct. 426, 432-33, 66 L.Ed.2d 328 (1980); see also Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 38, 98 S.Ct. 2156, 2162, 57...

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