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State v. Glasmann

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc

May 7, 2015

The State of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Edward Michael Glasmann, Petitioner

Argued October 23, 2014.

Petition for certiorari filed at, 07/08/2015

Appeal from Pierce County Superior Court. Docket No: 04-1-04983-2. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 05/03/2013. Judge signing: Honorable Katherine M. Stolz.

Mary Katherine Young High, for petitioner.

Mark E. Lindquist, Prosecuting Attorney, and Kara E. Sanchez and Thomas C. Roberts, Deputies, for respondent.

AUTHOR: Justice Susan Owens. WE CONCUR: Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen, result only, Justice Charles W. Johnson, Justice Charles K. Wiggins, Justice Steven C. González, Justice Mary I. Yu. AUTHOR: Justice Debra L. Stephens. WE CONCUR: Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud.

OPINION

Page 830

[183 Wn.2d 119] Susan Owens Owens, J.

¶ 1 The Washington and United States Constitutions prohibit the government from placing persons in double jeopardy, meaning that the government cannot prosecute a person twice for the same offense. U.S. Const. amend. V; Wash. Const. art. I, § 9. Our case law firmly establishes that if (1) the State charges a person with greater and lesser offenses and the jury is unable to agree regarding the greater offense but finds the defendant guilty of the lesser offense and (2) the defendant's conviction for the lesser offense is reversed on appeal, then the State may retry the defendant for the greater offense without violating double jeopardy. State v. Daniels, 160 Wn.2d 256, 265, 156 P.3d 905 (2007) ( Daniels I), adhered to on recons., 165 Wn.2d 627, 628, 200 P.3d 711 (2009) ( Daniels II). In this case, Edward Michael Glasmann asks us to reconsider the Daniels decisions because our approach now differs from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' approach. We will overturn our precedent only when someone shows that it is incorrect and harmful. Since Glasmann has not made that showing regarding the Daniels decisions, we see no reason to overturn them.

FACTS

¶ 2 The State charged Glasmann with first degree assault, first degree attempted robbery, first degree kidnapping [183 Wn.2d 120] , and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. At trial, the trial court instructed the jury on lesser offenses for each of the charges except obstruction of a law enforcement officer. For each potential offense, the trial court provided the jury with a different verdict form, and it instructed the jury that for the verdict forms containing the greater charges, " [i]f you unanimously agree on a verdict, you must fill in the blank provided [on the verdict form] the words 'not guilty' or the word 'guilty,' according to the decision you reach. If you cannot agree on a verdict, do not fill in the blank provided [on the verdict form]." Clerk's Papers at 52. The instruction went on to state, " If you find the defendant not guilty of the [higher crime], or if after full and careful consideration of the evidence you cannot agree on that crime, you will consider the [relevant lesser crime]." Id. at 52-53.

¶ 3 The jury left the verdict forms blank for first degree assault and first degree attempted robbery and instead convicted Glasmann of second degree assault and second degree attempted robbery. The jury also convicted Glasmann of first degree kidnapping and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

¶ 4 Subsequently, Glasmann filed a personal restraint petition alleging prosecutorial misconduct. We held that the prosecutor committed misconduct by using an inflammatory slideshow during closing argument, reversed Glasmann's convictions, and remanded for a new trial. In re Pers. Restraint of Glasmann, 175 Wn.2d 696, 714, 286 P.3d 673 (2012). The State refiled all of the original charges. Glasmann objected to being retried for first degree assault and first degree attempted robbery on double jeopardy

Page 831

grounds. The trial court denied his objection based on Daniels I. We granted direct discretionary review.

ISSUE

¶ 5 Should we overturn our established rule that allows the State to retry a defendant on a charge on which the jury was previously unable to agree?

[183 Wn.2d 121] ANALYSIS

1. Double Jeopardy and Our Jurisprudence Regarding Implied Acquittals

¶ 6 The United States Constitution provides that no person shall " be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const. amend. V. Our state constitution prohibits persons from being " twice put in jeopardy for the same offense." Wash. Const. art. I, § 9. We interpret our state's double jeopardy provision identically to the federal provision. State v. Schoel, 54 Wn.2d 388, 391, 341 P.2d 481 (1959).

¶ 7 In general, we find a double jeopardy violation " where (1) jeopardy has previously attached, (2) that jeopardy has terminated, and (3) the defendant is in jeopardy a second time for the same offense in fact and law." State v. Ervin, 158 Wn.2d 746, 752, 147 P.3d 567 (2006). Here, only whether jeopardy has terminated is at issue.

¶ 8 " [I]t has long been settled under the Fifth Amendment that a verdict of acquittal is final, ending a defendant's jeopardy." Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 188, 78 S.Ct. 221, 2 L.Ed.2d 199 (1957). The United States Supreme Court has said that a jury's silence can also act as an implied acquittal terminating jeopardy in two circumstances. Id. at 190-91. First, jeopardy terminates as to a greater offense when a jury convicts a defendant of a lesser included offense but is silent regarding the greater offense. Id. Second, a defendant's jeopardy on a greater charge ends " when the first jury '[is] given a full opportunity to return a verdict' on that charge and instead reache[s] a verdict on the lesser charge." Price v. Georgia, 398 U.S. 323, 329, 90 S.Ct. 1757, 26 L.Ed.2d 300 (1970) (quoting Green, 355 U.S. at 191).

¶ 9 However, silence does not terminate jeopardy when the record indicates that the jury failed to agree on a [183 Wn.2d 122] verdict. Ervin, 158 Wn.2d at 757. In Ervin, the trial court instructed the jury regarding aggravated first degree murder and lesser included offenses (including attempted first degree murder), and used multiple verdict forms and the same " unable to agree" jury instructions used in this case. Id. at 749-50. The trial court instructed the jury that if it unanimously agreed on a verdict for first degree murder, it should fill in the verdict form. Id. The trial court went on to instruct the jury that only if it could not agree on a verdict for first degree murder should it leave the verdict

Page 832

form blank and instead consider the lesser offenses. Id. The jury left the verdict form blank for first degree murder and attempted first degree murder, and instead convicted Ervin of second degree murder. Id. at 750-51. On appeal, the Court of Appeals vacated Ervin's conviction because of new case law that affected the conviction, and the State subsequently refiled the aggravated first degree murder and attempted first degree murder charges. Id. at 751. We held that double jeopardy did not bar retrial on those charges because the record indicated that the jury failed to agree on a verdict for them and thus the jury could not have silently acquitted Ervin of them. Id. at 756-57. We reasoned that " the blank verdict forms indicate[d] on their face that the jury was unable to agree" because (1) the trial court gave the jury the " unable to agree" instructions, (2) " juries are presumed to follow the instructions provided," and (3) the jury did not write in " not guilty" on the verdict forms for the greater charges--instead, it left the forms blank. Id.

¶ 10 We reaffirmed Ervin in Daniels I. In Daniels I, the State charged Daniels with homicide by abuse and second degree murder. 160 Wn.2d at 260. As in Ervin, the trial court gave the jury the " unable to agree" instruction, telling the jury that if it could not agree on a verdict for homicide by abuse, it should leave that verdict form blank and instead consider second degree murder. Id. The jury left the homicide by abuse verdict form blank and instead convicted Daniels of second degree murder. Id. The Court of Appeals [183 Wn.2d 123] reversed Daniels's conviction because of new case law that affected her conviction. Id. at 261. We allowed the prosecutor to reinstate the homicide by abuse charge on retrial and reaffirmed Ervin, finding that because the blank verdict form indicated on its face that the jury was unable to agree regarding homicide by abuse, double jeopardy did not bar the State from retrying Daniels on that charge. Id. at 264-65.

¶ 11 Around the time we decided Daniels I, the Ninth Circuit came to the opposite conclusion about the conclusions that can be drawn from a blank verdict form when a jury is given an " unable to agree" instruction in Brazzel v. Washington, 491 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2007). In that case, the State charged Brazzel with, among other charges, attempted first degree murder and the lesser alternative charge of first degree assault. Id. at 979. The trial court gave the jury the " unable to agree" instruction discussed above, instructing the jury that if it unanimously agreed on a verdict for attempted first degree murder, it must fill in the verdict form. Id. at 979-80. The jury was further instructed that only if it could not agree on a verdict for attempted first degree murder should it leave the form blank. Id. The jury left the verdict form blank for attempted first degree murder and instead convicted Brazzel of first degree assault. Id. at 979.

¶ 12 After Brazzel's case was remanded for a new trial and the prosecutor reinstated the attempted first degree murder charge, the Ninth Circuit found that double jeopardy barred the State from retrying Brazzel on that charge. Id. at 979, 984-85. The Ninth Circuit found that the jury's inability to reach a verdict " 'after full and careful deliberation on the charge of attempted murder in the first degree' ... was an implied acquittal." Id. at 984 (quoting the trial court's instructions). The Ninth Circuit reasoned that the jury must be " 'genuinely deadlocked'" about the verdict in order for the State to avoid the double jeopardy bar on retrial, and " [g]enuine deadlock is fundamentally different [183 Wn.2d 124] from a situation in which jurors are instructed that if they 'cannot agree,' they may compromise by convicting of a lesser alternative crime, and they then elect to do so without reporting any splits or divisions when asked about their unanimity." Id. (quoting Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 509, 98 S.Ct. 824, 54 L.Ed.2d 717 (1978)).

¶ 13 Although the Ninth Circuit's decisions are not binding on this court, we reconsidered Daniels I in light of Brazzel. Daniels II, 165 Wn.2d at 628 (Madsen, J., concurring). We chose to " adhere to our prior published opinion." Id. (lead opinion). Glasmann asks us to again reconsider Daniels ...


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