Whenever a Judge Imposes a More Severe Sentence After a New Trial the Reasons for His Doing So Must Affirmatively Appear
In North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 23 L. Ed. 2d 656, 89 S. Ct. 2072 (1969) and its companion case, Simpson v. Rice, the Supreme Court considered "what constitutional limitations there may be upon the general power of a judge to impose upon reconviction a longer prison sentence than the defendant originally received." Id. at 719.
The defendant in Pearce was convicted after trial and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, while the defendant in Rice pled guilty to several charges. See id. at 713-14.
Both defendants' judgments were later reversed and both defendants were then retried, convicted, and sentenced to longer terms than previously imposed. See id.
The Supreme Court first held that "neither the double jeopardy provision nor the Equal Protection Clause imposes an absolute bar to a more severe sentence upon reconviction." Id. at 723.
However, the Supreme Court concluded that it would be a "flagrant violation" of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment "for a state trial court to follow an announced practice of imposing a heavier sentence upon every reconvicted defendant for the explicit purpose of punishing the defendant for his having succeeded in getting his original conviction set aside." Id. at 723-24.
Noting that the "existence of a retaliatory motivation would . . . be extremely difficult to prove in any individual case," id. at 725 n. 20.
The Court held:
Whenever a judge imposes a more severe sentence upon a defendant after a new trial, the reasons for his doing so must affirmatively appear.
Those reasons must be based upon objective information concerning identifiable conduct on the part of the defendant occurring after the time of the original sentencing proceeding.
And the factual data upon which the increased sentence is based must be made part of the record, so that the constitutional legitimacy of the increased sentence may be fully reviewed on appeal. Id. at 726.