Richardson v. State

717 N.E.2d 32 (Ind. 1999)


Defendant convicted at trial of robbery (felony) and battery (misdemeanor). On appeal, defendant holds he was convicted twice for double jeopardy, thus violating the state’s double jeopardy clause.


“we therefore conclude and hold that two or more offenses are the “same offense” in violation of Article I, Section 14 of the Indiana Constitution, if, with respect to either the statutory elements of the challenged crimes or the actual evidence used to convict, the essential elements of one challenged offense also establish the essential elements of another challenged offense.”


Whether Richardson’s acts constitute the same crime for purposes of double jeopardy when convicted of robbery and battery.


Yes. The state of IN has traditionally followed the evidentiary approach for determining if an act constitutes the “same offense.” The evidentiary approach: “To show that two challenged offenses constitute the “same offense” in a claim of double jeopardy, a defendant must demonstrate a reasonable possibility that the evidentiary facts used by the fact-finder to establish the essential elements of one offense may also have been used to establish the essential elements of a second challenged offense.” The court also now adopts the statutory test – which asks whether the essential elements of both crimes are met/overlap within both charged crimes. The hybrid test requires examination of both to meet the newly required federal definition of double jeopardy.

Under the statutory test there is not complete overlap – battery requires physical harm to another while robbery requires taking of property. Therefore, IN double jeopardy clause is violated by this conviction via the statutory test. The defendant’s conviction for battery and robbery were not evaluated by separate and distinct facts, per the evidentiary test. As long the defendant can demonstrate a reasonable possibility that the essential facts used to convict for both robbery and battery were the same, he can prevail. In this case the defendant took the victim to the lake, beat then robbed him. The evidence of beating then robbing can reasonably be found to form the basis of both convictions. Therefore, the convictions constitute violation of double jeopardy and the defendant is entitled to reduction to the less serious crime of robbery.


Lays out five separate categories that may constitute double jeopardy and says that Richardson’s case falls into the conviction of punishment for a crime which has an essential element of another crime.

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