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401 US 846 Johnson v. United States

401 U.S. 846

91 S.Ct. 1258

28 L.Ed.2d 523

Barrington Joseph JOHNSON, petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES.

No. 5247.

Supreme Court of the United States

October Term, 1970.

April 5, 1971

William J. Lippman, Washington, D. C., for petitioner.

Samuel Huntington, Washington, D. C., for respondent.

On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

PER CURIAM.

1

The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.

2

THE CHIEF JUSTICE took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

3

Mr. Justice STEWART, with whom Mr. Justice DOUGLAS joins, dissenting.

4

In the petitioner's trial on a charge of rape, the District Judge instructed the jury that it could return a verdict of guilty with the death penalty. Yet that verdict was constitutionally impermissible in light of this Court's decision in United States v. Jackson, 390 U.S. 570, 88 S.Ct. 1209, 20 L.Ed.2d 138. See Bailey v. United States, 132 U.S.App.D.C. 82, 86 and n. 3, 405 F.2d 1352, 1356 and n. 3. I think the extreme prejudice arising from this erroneous instruction requires reversal of the judgment of conviction and a remand of this case for a new trial. Cf. Price v. Georgia, 398 U.S. 323, 331-332, 90 S.Ct. 1757, 26 L.Ed.2d 300.