Bryan v. United States 13 8212 14, 1949, No. 178

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMINTON
Citation94 L.Ed. 335,70 S.Ct. 317,338 U.S. 552
Decision Date16 January 1950
Docket NumberNo. 178
PartiesBRYAN v. UNITED STATES. Argued Dec. 13—14, 1949

338 U.S. 552
70 S.Ct. 317
94 L.Ed. 335
BRYAN

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 178.
Argued Dec. 13—14, 1949.
Decided Jan. 16, 1950.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 13, 1950.

See 338 U.S. 957, 70 S.Ct. 491.

Page 553

Mr. Carl J. Batter, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Miss Melva M. Graney, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice MINTON delivered the opinion of the Court.

The important question presented upon this record is whether the Court of Appeals, when it reverses the District Court because the evidence is not sufficient to sustain a conviction, may direct a new trial where a defendant had made all proper and timely motions for acquittal in the District Court.

Petitioner was convicted upon two counts of an attempt to evade the income-tax laws and sentenced to two years' imprisonment on one count and to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars on the other. At the close of the Government's case petitioner moved for a judgment of acquittal, and the motion was renewed at the conclusion of all the evidence. A verdict of guilty was returned, and within five days petitioner made a further motion for judgment of acquittal or in the alternative for a new trial. These motions were all denied. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the judgment was reversed because the evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict. 175

Page 554

F.2d 223. The Court of Appeals remanded with directions to the District Court to grant a new trial. Petitioner moved the Court of Appeals to amend the judgment to 'conform to Rule 29(a) of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (18 U.S.C.A.),' alleging that a judgment of acquittal should have been entered. This motion was denied.

We granted certiorari to examine the power of the Court of Appeals to grant a new trial under the circumstances of this case. 338 U.S. 813, 70 S.Ct. 69.

The extent of the power of federal appellate courts to enter judgment when reversing and remanding cases arising in the lower federal courts has been defined by statutes from the inception of our system of courts. By the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, 1 Stat. 85, the Supreme Court was given statutory authority, upon review of a District Court judgment, to order such further proceedings 'as the district court should have rendered or passed.' See Ballew v. United States, 160 U.S. 187, 198—199, 16 S.Ct. 263, 40 L.Ed. 388. In 1872 power was given this Court to 'direct such judgment, decree, or order to be rendered, or such further proceedings to be had by the inferior court as the justice of the case may require.' 17 Stat. 196—97. Our authority to render judgment 'as the justice of the case may require' was continued in those terms until the revision of the Judicial Code in 1948. R.S. § 701, Old Title 28 U.S.C. § 876. This authority was exercised by remanding for a new trial where, on writ of error to a District Court, the judgment was reversed on the ground that the evidence was not sufficient to sustain the verdict. Wiborg v. United States, 163 U.S. 632, 16 S.Ct. 1127, 41 L.Ed. 289. Likewise in Clyatt v. United States, 197 U.S. 207, 25 S.Ct. 429, 49 L.Ed. 726, on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a new trial was directed where the evidence was held to be insufficient to sustain the conviction. On a similar ground this Court reversed a judg-

Page 555

ment and directed that the defendants be discharged. France v. United States, 164 U.S. 676, 17 S.Ct. 219, 41 L.Ed. 595.

The authority and practice of the Courts of Appeals have been roughly parallel to those of this Court. When the Circuit Courts of Appeals were established in 1891, it was provided that upon reversal by such courts the 'cause shall be remanded to the * * * district court for further proceedings to be there taken in pursuance of such determination.' 26 Stat. 829, 28 U.S.C. § 877.1 Under this provision the Circuit Courts of Appeals have reversed for insufficiency of the evidence to sustain the verdict and remanded for a new trial in numerous cases, although a verdict should have been directed for the defendant by the District Court. First Circuit: Enrique Rivera v. United States, 57 F.2d 816; Third Circuit: United States v. Di Genova, 134 F.2d 466; United States v. Russo, 123 F.2d 420; Ridenour v. United States, 14 F.2d 888; Eithth Circuit: Pines v. United States, 123 F.2d 825; Scoggins v. United States, 255 F. 825, 3 A.L.R. 1093; Ninth Circuit: Buhler v. United States, 33 F.2d 382; Tenth Circuit: Leslie v. United States, 43 F.2d 288. Under the same

Page 556

statutory authority2 several Circuit Courts of Appeals have directed the discharge of the defendant or the dismissal of the indictment when reversing for insufficiency of the evidence. Second Circuit: United States v. Bonanzi, 94 F.2d 570; Romano v. United States, 9 F.2d 522; Sixth Circuit: Cemonte v. United States, 89 F.2d 362; Ninth Circuit: Klee v. United States, 53 F.2d 58. Since the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure went into effect on March 21, 1946, three Circuit Courts of Appeals have entered a judgment of acquittal upon reversing for insufficiency of the evidence, relying at least in part on Rule 29.3 Third Circuit: United States v. Bozza, 155 F.

Page 557

2d 592; United States v. Renee Ice Cream Co., 160 F.2d 353; Seventh Circuit: United States v. Gardner, 171 F.2d 753; Ninth Circuit: Karn v. United States, 158 F.2d 568.4

When the Judicial Code was revised in 1948 the provisions of § 876 and § 877 relating to the power of this Court and that of the Courts of Appeals on remand were dovetailed into a single section, 28 U.S.C. § 2106, 28 U.S.C.A. § 2106, 5 providing:

'The Supreme Court or any other court of appellate jurisdiction may affirm, modify, vacate, set aside or reverse any judgment, decree, or order of a court lawfully brought before it for review, and may remand the cause and direct the entry of such appropriate judgment, decree, or order, or require such further proceedings to be had as may be just under the circumstances.'

Page 558

Under this statute for the first time the power of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals to enter judgment when remanding a case to the lower court is set out in identical language in a single section. That coextensive power is to direct 'such appropriate judgment * * * as may be just under the circumstances.'...

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218 practice notes
  • Tibbs v. Florida, No. 81-5114
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 7, 1982
    ...readily apparent. See, e.g., Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 98 S.Ct. 2141, 57 L.Ed.2d 1 (1978) (overruling Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), Sapir v. United States, 348 U.S. 373, 75 S.Ct. 422, 99 L.Ed. 426 (1955), and Forman v. United States, 361 ......
  • Sumpter v. DeGroote, No. 76-1849
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • April 1, 1977
    ...jeopardy clause as permitting retrial of a defendant whose conviction has been set aside on appeal. Moreover, Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 560, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), extends the Ball rule to cases where reversal results from want of sufficient evidence to support a jur......
  • U.S. v. Snider, Nos. 73-1938 and 73-1939
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • July 19, 1974
    ...for a new trial, 24 this is not a case in which 'the defect in the evidence might be supplied on another trial.' Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 559, 70 S.Ct. 317, 321, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950). Additional facts could not enable a jury to conclude that the entry of '3 billion' on defendant......
  • U.S. v. Alessi, Nos. 1197
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 15, 1976
    ...supra, 163 U.S. at 669, 16 S.Ct. 1192, to which we have previously referred, and commenting on the bearing of Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), had this to (E)ven if it were assumed that the second trial was forbidden as double jeopardy, that does not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
218 cases
  • Tibbs v. Florida, No. 81-5114
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 7, 1982
    ...readily apparent. See, e.g., Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 98 S.Ct. 2141, 57 L.Ed.2d 1 (1978) (overruling Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), Sapir v. United States, 348 U.S. 373, 75 S.Ct. 422, 99 L.Ed. 426 (1955), and Forman v. United States, 361 ......
  • Sumpter v. DeGroote, No. 76-1849
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • April 1, 1977
    ...jeopardy clause as permitting retrial of a defendant whose conviction has been set aside on appeal. Moreover, Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 560, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), extends the Ball rule to cases where reversal results from want of sufficient evidence to support a jur......
  • U.S. v. Snider, Nos. 73-1938 and 73-1939
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • July 19, 1974
    ...for a new trial, 24 this is not a case in which 'the defect in the evidence might be supplied on another trial.' Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 559, 70 S.Ct. 317, 321, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950). Additional facts could not enable a jury to conclude that the entry of '3 billion' on defendant......
  • U.S. v. Alessi, Nos. 1197
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 15, 1976
    ...supra, 163 U.S. at 669, 16 S.Ct. 1192, to which we have previously referred, and commenting on the bearing of Bryan v. United States, 338 U.S. 552, 70 S.Ct. 317, 94 L.Ed. 335 (1950), had this to (E)ven if it were assumed that the second trial was forbidden as double jeopardy, that does not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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