Oregon v. Kennedy

456 U.S. 667 (1982)


Kennedy (D) was charged with the theft of an oriental rug. The state (P) called an expert witness about Middle Eastern rugs to testify about the value of this rug. D's attorney tried to establish bias while cross-examining this witness by asking whether or not he had filed a criminal complaint against D. The witness admitted that he had. On redirect, P's attorney tried to elicit the reasons behind the complaint, but the judge sustained D's objections against this line of questioning. P then asked the witness 'Is that because he is a crook?' (Referring to D). The court granted D's motion for a mistrial. P wanted to retry D later, but D moved to dismiss the charges because of double jeopardy. The trial court held that the double jeopardy principles did not bar retrial, and D was tried and convicted. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed, sustaining D's double jeopardy claim. P appealed.