Brief filed: 03/13/2019
Hoffman v. United States
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 18-1049
Decision below 901 F.3d 523 (5th Cir. Aug. 24, 2018, as revised Aug. 28, 2018)
The jury system is an imperfect protection against wrongful convictions. The “Equipoise Rule” helps courts to fulfill their duty to protect defendants’ right to be convicted by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A court must enter a judgment of acquittal if no rational factfinder could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In cases where the evidence is in Equipoise, no rational factfinder could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Equipoise rule meaningfully protects defendants’ constitutional rights.
Amy Mason Saharia, Wendy Zorana Zupac, and Whitney G. Woodward, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC; Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.