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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Blackledge v. Perry
Citation:417 U.S. 21, 94 S.Ct. 2098, 40 L.Ed.2d 628.
The defendant was charged with misdemeanor assault. Following a trial in the District Court, the defendant was convicted of this misdemeanor and given a six-month sentence, to be served after completion of the prison term he was then serving.
The defendant appealed to the Superior Court of North Carolina. Under North Carolina law, a person convicted in the District Court has a right to a trial de novo in the Superior Court. When an appeal is taken, the statutory scheme provides that the slate is wiped clean; the prior conviction is annulled, and the prosecution and the defense start over in the Superior Court.
After the filing of the notice of appeal, but prior to the defendant’s appearance for trial de novo in the Superior Court, the prosecutor obtained an indictment charging the defendant with felony assault. The indictment covered the same conduct for which the defendant had been tried and convicted in the District Court. The defendant entered a plea of guilty to the indictment in the Superior Court, and was sentenced to five to seven years.
The defendant appealed, arguing that the indictment on the felony charge constituted a penalty for his exercising his statutory right to appeal, and thus contravened the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
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