Skip to content
Name: Price v. Vincent
Case #: 02-524
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 05/19/2003
Subsequent History: Cross-cites: 123 S.Ct. 1848; 155 L.Ed.2d 877

At Vincent’s trial for murder, the defense moved at the close of the prosecution’s case for a directed verdict of acquittal as to first degree murder. The judge responded that second degree murder was an appropriate charge, but agreed to hear the prosecutor’s statement on first degree murder the next morning. The next morning, the defense objected, arguing that the court had granted the directed verdict motion the previous day, and that further prosecution on a first degree murder charge would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. The trial court held that it had granted the motion but not directed the verdict, and had not told the jury, and submitted the first degree murder charge to the jury, who convicted on that charge. Vincent’s federal habeas petition was granted on Double Jeopardy grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court here reversed. There was no formal judgment or order entered on the record. A judgment must bear sufficient indicia of finality, which was not shown here.