I was watching Fracture last night – and I liked it. I wanted Anthony Hopkins to get caught so bad. Anyway, the movie introduced me to Double Jeopardy.
Double Jeopardy means a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime based on the same conduct. The defense of double jeopardy also prevents the state from retrying a person for the same crime after he has been acquitted. No person shall “be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
- To preserve the finality of criminal proceedings, which would be compromised if the government were allowed to ignore verdicts it did not like;
- To impose limits on prosecutors’ power; and
- To protect individuals from the financial and emotional toll of repeated prosecutions.
Eligibility for Double Jeopardy protection:
- If a defendant was never previously in legal “jeopardy,” then subsequent prosecution is not prohibited.
- Once an individual has been placed in legal jeopardy and the jeopardy has ended, the government cannot continue to pursue a prosecution against the person for the same crime, because this would violate the rule against double jeopardy.
- The double jeopardy rule applies to re-prosecution for the same offense
What constitutes the same offense?
- the “actual evidence” has already been presented in court
- whether all the alleged criminal acts were part of the “same transaction,”
- whether the defendant is being prosecuted a second time for the “same conduct.”