The Supreme Court in Ashe v. Swenson held that the fifth amendment's guarantee against double jeopardy, applicable to the states through the fourteenth amendment, requires that a criminal defendant acquitted of a crime be able to invoke the doctrine of collateral estoppel in a later trial. Commentators had long urged such a rule, and though it has existed for some time in the federal courts, its elevation to a constitutional requirement is a significant step. The case invites consideration of the meaning and purpose of the double jeopardy guarantee and of the jury system itself. Specifically in regard to the latter, Ashe may subvert the currently accepted practice of allowing a jury to reach an inconsistent verdict in certain cases. This Comment will examine the effects that Ashe may have in these areas.
Mark S. Brodin. "Case Note: Ashe v. Swenson: Collateral Estoppel, Double Jeopardy, and Inconsistent Verdicts." Columbia Law Review 71, no.2 (1971): 321-335.