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Rinaldi v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

November 7, 1977

No. 76-6194

Opinion

  [*23]   [***210]   [**82]  PER CURIAM.

 Petitioner's participation [****3]  in a plot to rob safe-deposit boxes of the Doral Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla., violated the laws of both the State of Florida and the United States. He has been tried, convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment by both sovereigns. He claims that his federal conviction was obtained in violation of established federal policy against multiple prosecutions for the same offense and, for that reason, should be set aside. The Solicitor General agrees and submits that the Court should summarily "vacate the judgment of the court of appeals and remand the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the indictment." 1 Based on our independent evaluation of the unusual circumstances disclosed by this record, we conclude that such summary disposition is appropriate.

In February 1973, petitioner was charged with state offenses arising out of the Doral Beach Hotel robbery. 2 In March 1973, an indictment was returned in the United States District Court for the Southern District [****4]  of Florida, charging him with conspiracy to affect interstate commerce by robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951. 3 In May, petitioner was convicted of the state charges in the Dade County Circuit Court and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. 4 A subsequent  [*24]  federal trial ended in a mistrial. Thereafter, the District Court questioned Government counsel regarding the need for another trial in view of petitioner's state convictions. Government counsel responded that he had been instructed by his superiors at the Department of Justice to pursue the federal prosecution vigorously because of their concern that the state convictions might be reversed on appeal. After a second jury trial, petitioner was convicted on the Hobbs Act charge; the District Court imposed a 12-year sentence to run concurrently with the state sentence.

 [****5]  On  [***211]  appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, petitioner argued that his conviction had been obtained in violation of a longstanding federal policy against multiple prosecutions for the same act. See Petite v. United States, 361 U.S. 529, 530 (1960).5 The Government acknowledged  [**83]  that its Petite policy had been violated and moved the  [*25]  Court of Appeals to remand the case to the District Court to permit it to seek a dismissal of the indictment. The Court of Appeals granted the motion to remand.

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434 U.S. 22 *; 98 S. Ct. 81 **; 54 L. Ed. 2d 207 ***; 1977 U.S. LEXIS 153 ****

RINALDI v. UNITED STATES

Prior History: ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

CORE TERMS

indictment, court of appeals, convictions, bad faith, district court, prosecutions, public interest, federal prosecution, motion to dismiss, circumstances, multiple prosecutions, leave of court, authorization, misconduct, sentence, charges, prosecutorial, imprisonment, conspiracy, dissenters, robbery

Criminal Law & Procedure, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Double Jeopardy, Dual Sovereignty Doctrine, Governments, Federal Government, Claims By & Against, Standards of Review, Harmless & Invited Error, General Overview, Accusatory Instruments, Dismissal, Government Dismissal, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Double Jeopardy, Preliminary Proceedings, Pretrial Motions & Procedures, Dismissal, Trials, Judicial Discretion