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Author Topic: Double Jeopardy  (Read 7410 times)

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MysteryAdmin

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Double Jeopardy
« on: October 03, 2006, 04:38:18 PM »

Topic: Double Jeopardy -- Longish (2 of 8), Read 59 times
Conf: Courtroom Confusion
From: Mike Manno
Date: Monday, March 22, 2004 08:21 AM

Steven,

The rule against Double Jeopardy is firm. Once acquitted of a crime a person can not be re-tried for that same crime.

The exceptions come in what is considered the same crime. Remember the Civil Rights murders? Where KKK people would be acquitted of murder in a state trial but would be found guilty of a federal civil rights violation in a federal court? The government could do that because they were considered two different crimes.

But no, new evidence won't let the government re-try OJ.

Mike Manno
The Deadly Habit

Topic: Double Jeopardy -- Longish (3 of 8), Read 64 times
Conf: Courtroom Confusion
From: Jim Doherty
Date: Monday, March 22, 2004 08:43 AM

Steven,

As Mike says, the rule is firm. Here are two exceptions, and they are exceptions precisely BECAUSE they don't fit the actual definitions of Double Jeopardy.

If a single criminal act violates both a federal and a state (or, in the case of Puerto Rico, territorial) statute, and the defendant has already been acquitted in one jurisdiction, then, when new evidence turns up, he can be retried in the other jurisdiction. The reason for this exception is that, although he is being tried for the same act, he is technically NOT being tried for the same CRIME.

The other exception is the fallacy that came up in a movie a few years ago (if I recall correctly, it was actually called DOUBLE JEOPARDY). In it, the defendant is actually convicted for the murder of her husband. Catch is, her husband is still alive and he was the one who framed her. Years later, after she's been released, she discovers her husband is still alive. She claims, and, as I understand it, though I haven't seen the movie, the lawyer in the film played by Tommy Lee Jones agrees, that she can now murder her husband and be immune to prosecution, since she's already been convicted of his murder even though he wasn't dead.

Problem with that reasoning is that the crime she was convicted of years ago and the crime she's contemplating now are two separate, distinct acts. Even though she was wrongfully convicted of an act she did not carry out, she was convicted of a specific act in a specific place at a specific time. If she murders her husband now, years later, she'll be committing a separate crime that has nothing to do with what she was convicted of (however mistakenly) years earlier.

If you need a character to be eligible for a retrial after an acquittal, have the crime committed on federal property that is designated as being "concurrent jurisdiction," which means that both the federal government and the state government can assert criminal jurisdiction (or figure out some other way for the crime to be federal). In the first trial, have the feds cede jurisdiction to the locals (which they often do if there's no overriding fed interest), then have the feds take over when the new evidence is discovered.

JIM DOHERTY

Topic: Double Jeopardy -- Longish (4 of 8), Read 63 times
Conf: Courtroom Confusion
From: Bob Mueller
Date: Monday, March 22, 2004 11:40 AM

Other ways might include having the person charged, tired, and acquitted in one jurisdiction, but then have the body turn up in another jurisdiction, with convincing evidence that the murder actually occurred in the second jurisdiction.

For example, have them tried in Ohio for shooting the victim. Later, the body turns up in West Virginia, just across the river. They've been stabbed, the knife is there, and has the suspect's prints on it.

--
Bob
Logged
--
Bob Mueller
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