Bravo-Fernandez v. United States

Bravo-Fernandez v. United States, 580 U.S. ___ (2016), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States clarified the application of the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy Clause to cases in which a jury returns irreconcilable verdicts that convict a defendant on one count and acquit a defendant on another count when both counts rely upon the same ultimate fact.[1]

Bravo-Fernandez v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued October 4, 2016
Decided November 29, 2016
Full case nameJuan Bravo-Fernandez and Hector Martinez-Maldonado, Petitioners v. United States
Docket no.15–537
Citations580 U.S. ___ (more)
137 S. Ct. 352; 196 L. Ed. 2d 242
Case history
PriorUnited States v. Bravo-Fernandez, 790 F.3d 41 (1st Cir. 2015); cert. granted, 136 S. Ct. 1491 (2016).
The issue-preclusion component of the Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the Government from retrying defendants, like petitioners, after a jury has returned irreconcilably inconsistent verdicts of conviction and acquittal and the convictions are later vacated for legal error unrelated to the inconsistency.
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Roberts
Associate Justices
Anthony Kennedy · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito · Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan
Case opinions
MajorityGinsburg, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. V

In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court held that the government may re-try criminal defendants after a jury returns irreconcilable verdicts when the conviction is later vacated because of a procedural error that is unrelated to the inconsistency.[2] Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurring opinion, stating that although he joins with the majority, the Court should reconsider the two cases that Ginsburg relied on in her argument, Ashe v. Swenson and Yeager v. United States.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bravo-Fernandez v. United States, No. 15-537, 580 U.S. ___ (2016), slip. op. at 1-2.
  2. ^ Bravo-Fernandez, slip. op. at 18-19.
  3. ^ Bravo-Fernandez, slip. op. at 1-2 (Thomas, J., concurring).

External linksEdit