Skip to content
Name: Douglas v. Jacquez
Case #: 08-17478
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/24/2010

A federal habeas court cannot order a state court to resentence a defendant to a lesser-included offense, but there is no double jeopardy violation if the state court, on its own volition, resentences a defendant on a lesser-included offense. Appellant stabbed the victim to death and then burned the residence. He was convicted of murder and arson of an inhabited dwelling. The federal district court reversed the arson conviction based on insufficient evidence, finding that since the victim, the sole resident, was dead when the arson occurred, the residence was not an inhabited structure. The court remanded with instructions to the state court to enter judgment for arson of a structure. The appellate court ruled that the federal district court exceeded its habeas jurisdiction as its power is solely to release a prisoner but not to revise a state court judgment. The court further ruled that if the state opted to resentence for the lesser-included crime of arson of a structure, there would be no double jeopardy violation as the requisite evidence for the offense had been presented in the trial on the arson of an inhabited structure.