On November 7, 1968, after having been granted immunity, petitioner refused to answer questions put to him before a duly convened Kings County, N. Y., grand jury which was investigating a murder conspiracy. On March 18, 1969, petitioner refused to obey a court order to return to testify before the same grand jury in connection with the same investigation. On that date, petitioner was adjudicated in contempt of court under N. Y. Jud. Law § 750 (1968) for his failure to testify before the grand jury; and, on March 21, 1969, after declining an offer to purge his contempt, petitioner was sentenced to a flat 30-day term in civil jail. Petitioner served his sentence.
On June 10, 1970, petitioner was indicted for his refusal to answer questions before the grand jury on November 7, 1968. After asserting unsuccessfully that this indictment should be dismissed under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, petitioner pleaded guilty to the indictment and was sentenced on his plea.
We reverse. Where the State is precluded by the United States Constitution from haling a defendant into court on a charge, federal law requires that a conviction on that charge be set aside even if the conviction was entered pursuant to a counseled plea of guilty. Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21, 30 (1974).
MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN agrees that "[w]here the State is precluded by the United States Constitution from haling a defendant into court on a charge, federal law requires that a conviction on that charge be set aside even if the conviction was entered pursuant to a counseled plea of guilty," ante, at 62, but on his view that the Double Jeopardy Clause bars the prosecution from mounting successive prosecutions for offenses growing out of the same criminal transaction, he believes that the proper disposition of the case is not a remand but outright reversal. See Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436, 453-454 (1970) (BRENNAN, J., concurring).
THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari and set the case for oral argument.
We do not hold that a double jeopardy claim may never be waived. We simply hold that a plea of guilty to a charge does not waive a claim that—judged on its face—the charge is one which the State may not constitutionally prosecute.