ELDRIDGE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court. SMITH, J., dissents and filed a dissenting opinion at page 512 infra.
In the course of petitioner's trial on charges of storehouse breaking and forgery, the prosecuting attorney became ill and could not carry on. Shortly thereafter, another attorney in the State's Attorney's office appeared and requested a continuance or, if the defendant would consent, a mistrial. The trial judge, sua sponte, declared a mistrial. The question presented is whether, under all of the circumstances of the case, the later retrial of petitioner on the same charges violated the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Petitioner James Mitchell Jourdan, Jr., was arrested in January 1971 and indicted by the Prince George's County grand jury in March 1971, on charges of storehouse breaking. Jourdan, being detained in the disciplinary wing of
The various cases were called for trial as scheduled on Friday, May 21, 1971, at 1:20 p.m. The prosecuting attorney was the Deputy State's Attorney for Prince George's County, and the cases had been transferred to him from another attorney in the State's Attorney's office just a short time before, after the conclusion of a criminal case which the Deputy State's Attorney had been handling that morning. He later stated that he had spent about ten or fifteen minutes reviewing the files, but that this was sufficient time to familiarize himself, and that more preparation was not required for this particular trial. Jourdan was represented by an attorney appointed by the court.
At the beginning of the proceedings, the Deputy State's Attorney moved that the court continue the cases, other than case 11,137 (the storehouse breaking charges), which had been scheduled for trial that day. Jourdan's attorney objected, stating: "In all of these cases there has been filed a motion for speedy trial. The matters have been continued at prior times and the defendant is here ready to be tried today and he is ready to proceed to trial today, so I would object to a continuance or a motion for continuance." In light of the objection the prosecuting attorney withdrew the motion for continuance.
The State then moved to consolidate case number 11,137 (storehouse breaking) with case number 11,147 (forgery and uttering of a check taken during the storehouse breaking); the defense concurred in the motion; and the motion was granted. Next, the State nolle prossed case number 10,634 (a
Jourdan pleaded "not guilty" to the storehouse breaking and forgery charges; the jury was selected and sworn; the witnesses were sequestered; the State's opening statement was made; and the State's first witness was called and began to testify. After a few minutes of direct examination of the first witness, the Deputy State's Attorney asked if counsel could approach the bench, and, out of the hearing of the jury, indicated that he was ill. The court took a recess, and the Deputy State's Attorney left the courtroom. This was at 2:10 p.m.
Fifteen minutes later the proceedings resumed with a bench conference out of the hearing of Jourdan. The State was represented by an Assistant State's Attorney, who stated to the court:
The Assistant State's Attorney again raised the question that the defendant "would contend there would be no grounds for a mistrial" and "would claim at a later date ... a problem of double jeopardy." In reply the following colloquy took place at the bench:
The court directed the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney to proceed to the State's Attorney's office and arrange for a new trial date.
Because the above proceedings were out of Jourdan's hearing, the prosecuting attorney raised again the matter of the defendant's consent, but his consent was not obtained. The record reveals the following:
The proceedings on May 21, 1971, were concluded at 2:30 p.m.
Jourdan's second trial on cases 11,137 and 11,147 commenced on September 7, 1971. The State nolle prossed all counts of number 11,137 (storehouse breaking) except for the first count. The jury found Jourdan guilty on the first count of number 11,137, which was storehouse breaking with intent to steal goods with a value exceeding one hundred dollars. The jury acquitted him of all counts in number 11,147. Subsequently, Jourdan was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, commencing as of January 19, 1971. At no time between the first and the second trial, or during the second trial, did Jourdan's attorney move to dismiss on the ground of double jeopardy or raise the double jeopardy issue. An appeal was taken, although the double jeopardy question was not raised on appeal. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the storehouse breaking conviction in an unreported opinion, and this Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari, 266 Md. 738.
On June 5, 1973, Jourdan, in proper person, filed a petition for post conviction relief. Shortly thereafter Jourdan, represented by a new attorney assigned by the Public Defender's office, filed an amended petition. The principal contentions in the amended petition were that Jourdan had been denied the right to a speedy trial and that his second
A hearing on the post conviction petition was held by the Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Taylor, J.) on November 26, 1973. At the hearing, testimony was heard from the Deputy State's Attorney who initially handled the prosecution at Jourdan's first trial and who became ill, by the Assistant State's Attorney who represented the State after the recess at the first trial, by the attorney who represented Jourdan at the first and second trials as well as on the appeal, and by Jourdan himself.
The Deputy State's Attorney testified that Jourdan's was his sixth trial that week, and that the matter was assigned to him shortly before the trial began, as he had concluded the case he was handling that morning. He further testified that the presence of the State's witnesses had already been arranged, and that ten or fifteen minutes' preparation was all that he needed for the trial. Finally, he explained that he had become faint during his questioning of the first witness, that he approached the bench, and that he did not remember what happened between that time and when he found himself on a couch in the State's Attorney's office. He stated that his physician diagnosed his illness as exhaustion, and that he returned to work about a week later.
The Assistant State's Attorney, who represented the State at the first trial after the illness of the Deputy State's Attorney, testified at the post conviction hearing that at the time of the first trial he was experienced in prosecuting storehouse breaking cases and that he had prosecuted "just about every major felony case." He testified that when the Deputy State's Attorney became ill during Jourdan's trial, he was instructed by the State's Attorney to request a
The attorney who represented Jourdan at his first and second trial, as well as on the appeal from his conviction, testified at the post conviction hearing that the judge at the first trial declared a mistrial on his own motion, that Jourdan did not "personally concur" with the declaration of a mistrial, and that "[h]e wanted to know why we weren't going to trial. I tried to explain to him why we weren't." He confirmed that the proceedings after the recess relating to the declaration of a mistrial took place at the bench, out of the hearing of Jourdan.
The last witness at the post conviction hearing was Jourdan. Initially, Jourdan testified concerning the numerous letters and motions which, before his trial, he had sent to judges, courts, the Legal Aid Bureau and attorneys, seeking a speedy trial because "I was being held in the south wing of the Maryland Penitentiary without a conviction." He stated that, for the same reason, he did not on May 21, 1971, want a continuance or a mistrial. All of his witnesses were present, and he wanted to be tried. As to whether he understood what was going on and objected, the following appears:
Later in the hearing, Jourdan reiterated that he at no time consented to a mistrial.
At the conclusion of the post conviction hearing, Judge Taylor delivered an oral opinion, holding that Jourdan had not been denied his right to a speedy trial. With respect to the question of double jeopardy, Judge Taylor found that Jourdan "did not consent to the granting of the mistrial" and that the court on May 21, 1971, granted the mistrial on its own.
Judge Taylor further found, based upon the testimony of the Deputy State's Attorney and the Assistant State's Attorney, that the practice in the State's Attorney's office at the time of Jourdan's first trial was that if a judge became available to try a case scheduled for that day, and if the member of the State's Attorney's staff who was assigned the case was engaged in another matter, and if another member of the State's Attorney's staff became available to prosecute the case, the case "will be pulled from the person originally assigned it, and then it would be tried by the [member of the] State's Attorney['s staff] that is free and available." Judge Taylor found that in accordance with this practice, the
While finding that there was no consent to a mistrial, and that there was no "evidence to indicate that he [Jourdan] was personally and individually aware of the right to raise the issue of [double] jeopardy," Judge Taylor indicated that he was concerned about granting relief to Jourdan on double jeopardy grounds because of the failure of Jourdan's court appointed attorney to raise the double jeopardy issue after the first trial. However, he held that the failure of Jourdan's attorney to raise the double jeopardy issue in connection with the second trial, particularly after being alerted to the issue by the Assistant State's Attorney at the first trial, constituted inadequate representation by counsel.
In a subsequent written opinion and order, filed December 17, 1973, Judge Taylor stated that the attorney's "failure to raise the [double jeopardy] issue leads this court to conclude that Mr. Jourdan was denied the effective assistance of counsel." It was ordered that the conviction and sentence in number 11,137 be set aside.
The State applied to the Court of Special Appeals for leave to appeal from the order setting aside Jourdan's conviction. In an unreported per curiam opinion, the court granted the application and transferred the case to its regular appeal docket. Thereafter, the Court of Special Appeals, holding that the declaration of a mistrial during Jourdan's first trial was "manifestly necessary," and that, therefore, his retrial
As we have pointed out on many recent occasions, since the Supreme Court's decision in Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 89 S.Ct. 2056, 23 L.Ed.2d 707 (1969), the prohibition against twice placing a criminal defendant in jeopardy is applicable in this State as a constitutional matter, by virtue of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, whereas prior to Benton it was held applicable in Maryland only as a common law principle. See Blondes v. State, 273 Md. 435, 442-443, 330 A.2d 169 (1975); Neal v. State, 272 Md. 323, 327, 322 A.2d 887 (1974); Cornish v. State, 272 Md. 312, 316, 322 A.2d 880 (1974); Matter of Anderson, 272 Md. 85, 92-93, 321 A.2d 516, appeal dismissed, 419 U.S. 809, 95 S.Ct. 21, 42 L.Ed.2d 35 (1974); Pugh v. State, 271 Md. 701, 704-705, 319 A.2d 542 (1974). Being a constitutional question, the contention that a defendant's rights under the Fifth Amendment's double jeopardy clause were violated may now be raised under the Post Conviction Procedure Act, Code (1957, 1971 Repl. Vol., 1974 Cum. Supp.), Art. 27, § 645A. See Jordan v. Warden, 9 Md.App. 485, 265 A.2d 568 (1970).
In its appeal to the Court of Special Appeals, the State made no claim that Jourdan waived his double jeopardy contention because his attorney failed to raise the issue before or at the beginning of the second trial, and the Court of Special Appeals stated that "we shall assume, but do not specifically so decide," that the issue was not waived (22 Md. App. at 656). And in this Court the State does not contend that the double jeopardy question was waived. The Post
It is clear that at the time the mistrial was declared on May 21, 1971, jeopardy had attached to Jourdan, as the jury had been empaneled and sworn. In fact, the first witness had begun to testify.
Thus, where jeopardy has attached to a criminal defendant and a mistrial is thereafter declared, the determination of whether the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against double jeopardy bars a retrial depends upon the reasons for and circumstances surrounding the mistrial declaration.
One circumstance where a retrial is normally permitted after a mistrial, without further examination into the reasons for the mistrial, is where the defendant sought or consented to the mistrial. United States v. Jorn, supra, 400 U.S. at 484-485; Cornish v. State, supra, 272 Md. at 318-319; United States v. Beasley, 479 F.2d 1124 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 924, 94 S.Ct. 252, 38 L.Ed.2d 158, reh. denied, 414 U.S. 1052, 94 S.Ct. 557, 38 L.Ed.2d 340 (1973); United States v. Goldstein, 479 F.2d 1061, 1066 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 873, 94 S.Ct. 151, 38 L.Ed.2d 113 (1973). Although not the ground for the Court of Special Appeals' decision, in argument before us the question of whether Jourdan consented to the mistrial on May 21, 1971, appeared to be the principal issue.
Our review of the proceedings convinces us that Judge Taylor's finding, that Jourdan did not consent to the mistrial, is firmly supported by the record. There is some indication that Jourdan's attorney consented to a mistrial during the bench conference on May 21, 1971. When the court stated that it understood that "there is no opposition to the court declaring a mistrial under the circumstances," the defense attorney responded, "Under the circumstances." The Assistant State's Attorney then stated, "So far as the defendant is concerned there is no problem declaring a
Assuming arguendo that Jourdan's attorney consented to the mistrial, the evidence clearly shows that Jourdan himself did not consent and, in fact, opposed the mistrial. Jourdan's pretrial activities seeking a speedy trial, and his opposition to continuances sought by the State at the beginning of the May 21, 1971, trial, reveal that he wanted a final resolution of the charges against him as quickly as possible. The discussion at the bench conference concerning a mistrial, and any indication at that conference that his attorney was consenting to a mistrial, were out of Jourdan's hearing. The effort by the Assistant State's Attorney to determine whether Jourdan consented to the mistrial was frustrated by the trial judge who indicated that Jourdan's consent was not needed as the court itself "has disposed [of] it as [a] mistrial." At the post conviction hearing, the Assistant State's Attorney representing the State on May 21, 1971, the attorney representing Jourdan on that date, and Jourdan himself, all testified that Jourdan did not consent to a mistrial. The defense attorney further testified that after the mistrial was declared and the bench conference was over, Jourdan "wanted to know why we weren't going to trial." Jourdan stated that he "made numerous objections to my lawyer" concerning the failure to complete the trial on May 21, 1971. All of this evidence demonstrates that Judge Taylor was fully warranted in finding that Jourdan did not consent to a mistrial. Under other circumstances, where a defendant's attorney consents to a mistrial, the defendant himself might be deemed to have consented or to be bound by his attorney's action. But under the circumstances of this case, the declaration of the
Recently in Cornish v. State, supra, 272 Md. at 316-320, this Court reviewed the standards to be applied in determining whether the double jeopardy clause would prohibit a retrial of a criminal defendant following an unconsented to declaration of a mistrial, reviewed the numerous Supreme Court cases on the subject, and reviewed some of the situations where retrials have been permitted and some of the situations where they have not. We pointed out that since the opinion of Mr. Justice Story in United States v. Perez, 9 Wheat. 579, 580, 6 L.Ed. 165 (1824), it has been settled that the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy permitted a retrial following a mistrial only if there was "manifest necessity" for the mistrial, and that the discretionary power of a court to declare a mistrial "ought to be used with the greatest caution, under urgent circumstances, and for very plain and obvious causes." We also pointed out in Cornish, quoting from United States v. Jorn, supra, 400 U.S. at 480, that while the Supreme Court has not prescribed strict "`categories of circumstances which will permit or preclude retrial,'" nevertheless the cases do set forth principles for determining whether mistrials should be declared in various types of circumstances.
Turning to the instant case, there was no "manifest necessity" for the sua sponte declaration of a mistrial. As Judge Taylor found, the Assistant State's Attorney who took over after the Deputy State's Attorney became ill could have handled the prosecution of the cases against Jourdan. The uncontroverted testimony was that the Deputy State's Attorney had taken only ten or fifteen minutes to prepare for trial after having been assigned the cases shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin, and that the Assistant State's Attorney was experienced in cases of this nature. There is nothing in the subject record to indicate that the Assistant State's Attorney, after a brief recess, could not have been as prepared as was the Deputy State's Attorney. Long ago it was stated in United States v. Watson, 3 Ben. 1,
Moreover, even if the Assistant State's Attorney could not have taken over the prosecution on May 21, 1971, we would not under the circumstances here conclude that a mistrial was necessary. This Court in Cornish v. State, supra, 272 Md. at 320, pointed out that "a retrial is barred by the Fifth Amendment where reasonable alternatives to a mistrial, such as a continuance, are feasible and could cure the problem." See also United States v. Jorn, supra, 400 U.S. at 487; Thomas v. Beasley, 491 F.2d 507, 509-510 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 417 U.S. 955, 94 S.Ct. 3083, 41 L.Ed.2d 674 (1974); United States v. Kin Ping Cheung, 485 F.2d 689, 691 (5th Cir.1973); United States v. Tinney, 473 F.2d 1085, 1089 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 928, 93 S.Ct. 2752, 37 L.Ed.2d 156 (1973). In the present case, no reason has been suggested why the alternate remedy of a continuance was not feasible. If it would have taken the Assistant State's Attorney until the next morning to get ready for the trial, a continuance until that time could have been granted. Or, if there were some reason (not apparent on this record) why the Assistant State's Attorney could not handle the prosecution the next day or shortly thereafter, the case could have been continued for a reasonable time until the Deputy State's Attorney was able to resume his duties. As the six month jury term of this jury was far from over, the jury
Judge Taylor, at the conclusion of the post conviction hearing, correctly concluded that there was no "manifest necessity" for the sua sponte declaration of a mistrial on May 21, 1973, and that, therefore, Jourdan's retrial violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy.
Judgment of the Court of Special Appeals reversed.
Costs to be paid by Prince George's County.
Smith, J., dissenting:
I would affirm the decision of the Court of Special Appeals and reverse the order entered by the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. My reasons were cogently set forth by Chief Judge Orth for the Court of Special Appeals in State v. Jourdan, 22 Md.App. 648, 325 A.2d 164 (1974), which opinion I adopt. I would add only a few additional words.
As stated by the Court of Special Appeals and the majority opinion here, the standard in this regard since the opinion of Mr. Justice Story in United States v. Perez, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 579, 6 L.Ed. 165 (1824), has been whether the trial court "exercise[d] a sound discretion on the subject...." It is easy in any given situation, particularly in the isolation of the chambers of an appellate judge, to say that a certain course of action should or should not have been taken. I note that in a recent game involving the Baltimore Orioles a sportswriter questioned the wisdom of the manager in removing his starting pitcher in the ninth inning and his various moves thereafter, Baltimore having been ahead at the time of the removal and having ultimately lost the game by one run in the twelfth inning. The manager, however, was on the spot where he was obliged to make his determinations quickly upon the basis of his best judgment at the time. So was the trial judge in this instance. It is to be noted in this regard that the trial judge was no neophyte. He
It is all very well now for us to say that it only took the prosecutor 15 or 20 minutes to review the file and be ready for trial and that thus the trial could have continued on that Friday afternoon. There is nothing in the record to show that the trial judge was aware of the fact that the State thought it could be ready in such a brief period of time.
No doubt the fact that the normal tour of duty for the jury panel was intended to expire that day, with the thought that some of the good citizens serving on the jury might have made good faith commitments for the following week based upon the normal expiration of their time for jury service, went through the judge's mind and entered into his decision. Moreover, he did direct that an assistant state's attorney and defense counsel "proceed to the State's Attorney's Office and set [the case] at the earliest practical date," adding, "Go back and list your calendars, and reschedule this case as soon as possible. If you gentlemen cannot resolve it within sensibility I will be back in my office very shortly. I will be available."
Paraphrasing slightly the opinion of the Court of Special Appeals in its quotation from Baker, Whitfield & Wilson v. State, 15 Md.App. 73, 89, 289 A.2d 348 (1972), cert. denied, 266 Md. 733, 744, 411 U.S. 951 (1973), I do not believe here "there was an abuse of the trial process resulting in prejudice to the accused, by way of harassment or the like, such as to outweigh society's interest in the punishment of crime."
With respect to a non-jury trial, most cases had held that jeopardy attaches when the judge begins to hear evidence, although there was a minority view that jeopardy attaches when the first witness is sworn. See the discussion in Blondes v. State, supra, 273 Md. at 444-446, and the cases therein cited. The Supreme Court has now endorsed the majority view, stating: "In a nonjury trial, jeopardy attaches when the court begins to hear evidence." Serfass v. United States, supra, 420 U.S. at 388.