Evans v. Michigan
June 11, 2012
Case #: 11-1327
Court Below: 810 N.W.2d 535 (Mich. 2012)
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/Clerk/11-12-Term-Opinions/141381.pdf
Constitutional Law: Whether an erroneously granted directed verdict, based on the prosecution’s failure to prove a non-existent element of the crime is an acquittal subject to the double-jeopardy provisions of the United States and state constitutions.
Petitioner was charged with burning real property, and during the trial the judge erroneously ruled that the prosecution was required to prove that the property burned was not a "dwelling house". When the prosecution failed to do so, the judge granted Petitioner’s directed verdict of acquittal.
On appeal, the state appellate court reversed due to the trial court’s error and ruled that the erroneous directed verdict was not an acquittal subject to the double-jeopardy provisions in the United States and Michigan Constitutions. The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court.
Petitioner argues that the directed verdict is an acquittal and that the double-jeopardy provisions in the United States and Michigan Constitutions bar Petitioner from being retried.