Argument preview: Revisiting the double jeopardy conundrum

Following a residential burglary during which a safe containing firearms was taken, Michael Currier was charged under Virginia law with breaking and entering, larceny, and possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The felon-in-possession charge was based on the allegation that Currier had briefly possessed the guns in the safe when he participated in the break-in. A Virginia court rule permits any felon-in-possession charge to be severed before trial with the agreement of the defendant. Pursuant to that rule, the state made a pretrial motion to sever the felon-in-possession charge, and Currier agreed. Virginia tried Currier first on the breaking-and-entering and larceny charges and he was acquitted. After his acquittal, he moved to bar the second trial on the ground that in acquitting him, the jury at the first trial had resolved the question of whether he had participated in the burglary in his favor. He argued that the collateral-estoppel component of the…

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