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Name: Williams v. Warden
Case #: 04-15465
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/07/2005

Affirming the district court’s denial of a Nevada state prisoner’s habeas petition, the appellate court held that the Nevada Supreme Court’s rejection of petitioner’s double jeopardy claims neither contravened nor unreasonably applied clearly established law. Petitioner asserted violation of double jeopardy provisions when the jury issued inconsistent verdicts for violating the single offense of “Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or Controlled or Prohibited Substance (DUI)”. The jury issued verdicts convicting petitioner on the theory of driving with a prohibited substance in her blood or urine, and acquitting her on the alternative theory of driving under the influence. The panel held that even if the two subsections created two facially distinct offenses under Nevada law, they were separate offenses for double jeopardy purposes because they failed the “same evidence” test set forth Blockburger v. United States (1931) 284 U.S. 299. The panel also held that the double jeopardy challenge failed even if the trial court mistakenly allowed petitioner to be simultaneously acquitted and convicted of the same offense under two subsections of the statute. Distinguishing Sanabria v. United States (1978) 437 U.S. 54, the panel held that simultaneous convictions and acquittals of the same offense, under different theories, in the same trial by a single jury do not violate the principle of collateral estoppel embodied in the Double Jeopardy Clause.