snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Legal Affairs Archive » Double Jeopardy Question (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Double Jeopardy Question
SkyeTisTheSeasonWynters
Deck the Malls


Icon 15 posted      Profile for SkyeTisTheSeasonWynters     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Me and a friend are having a disagreement on Double Jeopardy laws in the US. Here's what we're disagreeing about. Cites would be wonderful!

-If found not guilty on a charge of murder one, can the defendent be charged in a subsequent trial for the same crime with a lesser degree?

Example: If John Doe is charged with murder one in the death of Jane Doe, and found not guilty, can John Doe then be charged with Manslaughter of Jane Doe in a subsequent trial?


-OR: if first charged with manslaughter, can John Doe then be charged with Murder one of Jane Doe?

I hope anyone can help! [Big Grin]

Skye!

--------------------
Peter: You better watch who you're calling a child Lois, because if I'm a child, that makes you a pedophile, and I'll be damned if I'm going to stand here and be lectured by a pervert

Posts: 354 | From: Minneapolis, MN | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ToadMagnet
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for ToadMagnet   E-mail ToadMagnet   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Welcome to the UBB, HBomb, and best of luck on the Bar!

*I have no idea what else you were talking about, which is why I am not a lawyer and my sister is. I just hope something that you said is helpful to Skye. * [Big Grin]

--------------------
Listen ... it's Mellow!

Posts: 927 | From: Virginia | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Soccer
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Soccer   E-mail Soccer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I believe that losing a murder trial and then charging someone with manslaughter would be stupid, but would not violate the Fifth Amendment, as murder and manslaughter are two different crimes. As to your second question, if a prosecutor is considering moving a case from a manslaughter to a murder trial, he better have some good testimony he can use to substantiate the charge.

Doulbe Jeopardy from Wikipedia

Posts: 71 | From: Indiana | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rehcsif
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rehcsif   E-mail Rehcsif   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Wikipedia has a whole section on Double Jeopardy, with many cites as to when it does and does not apply...

-Tim

Posts: 1039 | From: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Manslaughter is a lesser included offense of Murder 1. The prosecutor will try to charge with the highest crime. Aggravated murder one, if all the elements of aggravated murder are not met, then the jury has the option of finding the defendent guilty of murder 2 or manslaughter or reckless endangerment, battery assault, etc.

So no, I don't think a lesser degree can be twice.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Soccer
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Soccer   E-mail Soccer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by damsa:
Manslaughter is a lesser included offense of Murder 1. The prosecutor will try to charge with the highest crime. Aggravated murder one, if all the elements of aggravated murder are not met, then the jury has the option of finding the defendent guilty of murder 2 or manslaughter or reckless endangerment, battery assault, etc.

So no, I don't think a lesser degree can be twice.

I've never heard of a case where they allowed manslaughter as a lesser included offense, do you have any cites? I know on the Michael Jackson they allowed a lesser included offense for giving kids alcohol, but I wouldn't expect it if the state is going for murder charges.
Posts: 71 | From: Indiana | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:

In criminal trials, the court is permitted (but not required) to instruct jurors that they can find the defendant guilty of the most serious crime charged, or of a lesser included offense of that crime. In murder cases, however, where a convicted defendant may face capital punishment, the United States Supreme Court has held that the court must instruct the jury that they may find the defendant guilty of a lesser included offense such as voluntary manslaughter.

Lesser Included Offense

Giving alcohol to a minor is not a lesser included offense to child molestation. Child molestation is a lesser included offense to child rape.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
SkyeTisTheSeasonWynters
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for SkyeTisTheSeasonWynters     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks everyone!!!!

Ok, so here's what we're arguing about now:

If Person X is put on trial for the accidental manslaughter of their neighbor and a verdict is rendered not guilty, and then more evidence is found that blatently shows that the murder was planned and intentional, can they be tried again at a higher charge?

I'm up to *here* with the arguing we both think we're correct! (Just so you know, I'm on the "no, you cannot be retried" side) [Razz]

Skye

--------------------
Peter: You better watch who you're calling a child Lois, because if I'm a child, that makes you a pedophile, and I'll be damned if I'm going to stand here and be lectured by a pervert

Posts: 354 | From: Minneapolis, MN | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
B Hamilton
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for B Hamilton   E-mail B Hamilton   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
First of all I know nothing about the law but I do watch a lot of true crime tv. [Wink] I saw one show about a man who was tried for murder and found not guilty. The police had heard that he had even taken pictures of the murder but the pictures were never found even though they searched his house. Ten or so years later after the house had been sold, the new owners were ripping out the old carpet and found the pictures, I believe, in a heating vent in the floor. The pictures were turned over to the police and according to the show the man was not allowed to be tried again even with the new evidence because of double jeopardy.

Sorry to be so vague and not sure it really answers your question, but it has been a few years since I saw the show. It was one of those shows like "City Confidential" on A&E.

--------------------
"This is my family. I found it all on my own. It's little & broken but still good."

Posts: 1338 | From: Orlando | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SunStroke Wynters:
Thanks everyone!!!!

Ok, so here's what we're arguing about now:

If Person X is put on trial for the accidental manslaughter of their neighbor and a verdict is rendered not guilty, and then more evidence is found that blatently shows that the murder was planned and intentional, can they be tried again at a higher charge?

I'm up to *here* with the arguing we both think we're correct! (Just so you know, I'm on the "no, you cannot be retried" side) [Razz]

Skye

I think that violates double jeopardy. To have all the elements of murder one you have to have all the elements of manslaughter + intent.

So if you are found not guilty of manslaughter they can't come back and try you for a higher crime. Because all the elements of manslaughter were already tried.

One way around this is if the manslaughter guy lost, and then decided to appeal, and won a new trial, the prosecution can then up the charges and charge him with murder 1 with the new evidence.

Not a lawyer, yadda yadda. I am probably wrong.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SunStroke Wynters:
Ok, so here's what we're arguing about now:

If Person X is put on trial for the accidental manslaughter of their neighbor and a verdict is rendered not guilty, and then more evidence is found that blatently shows that the murder was planned and intentional, can they be tried again at a higher charge?

No. It's not even debatable. See Ex Parte Nielsen, 131 U.S. 176 (1889) and Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184 (1957).

quote:
A plea of former jeopardy would have absolutely barred a new prosecution even though it might have been convincingly demonstrated that the jury erred in failing to convict him of that offense.
Also see legal definitions of double jeopardy.

The key is in the wording of the Fifth Amendment: "... nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ..." Whether you call that offense murder or manslaughter or whatever, it's the very same actions you are discussing. Whether the state knew all the actions when it put the defendant on trial does not matter.

For a fuller discussion, see Fifth Amendment decisions.

Now, if the state later learns that the defendant raped the victim before killing her, he can go on trial for the rape, because that crime constitutes an entirely different set of elements, even though it arises from the same actions. It's why a person can be convicted of rape and robbery and murder for one continuous action against the same victim, but not, say, murder and manslaughter for the same victim, because both those crimes have the same elements. See Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932).

For a real-life version of what you are discussing, see Ignatow v. Kentucky. I believe that may be the story Ms. Hamilton was refering to.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by damsa:
One way around this is if the manslaughter guy lost, and then decided to appeal, and won a new trial, the prosecution can then up the charges and charge him with murder 1 with the new evidence.

I believe that would be barred by Green case, discussed above.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone if the sun don't shine:
quote:
Originally posted by damsa:
One way around this is if the manslaughter guy lost, and then decided to appeal, and won a new trial, the prosecution can then up the charges and charge him with murder 1 with the new evidence.

I believe that would be barred by Green case, discussed above.

Pogue

I recall reading a case that said differently, but I guess that was a case that was a lot older.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The Green case was double jeopardy because during the first trial, "the jury was authorized to find him guilty of either first degree murder (killing while [355 U.S. 184, 190] perpetrating a felony) or, alternatively, of second degree murder (killing with malice aforethought)." In the second trial, "Green was tried again, not for second degree murder, but for first degree murder, even though the original jury had refused to find him guilty on that charge and it was in no way involved in his appeal." (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=355&invol=184)

*I'm the friend "Skye Wynters" is disagreeing with, btw.*

What I'm asking is if found not guilty of one offense, can the defendant be retried for a lesser offense. The Green case doesn't really apply because the jury was told during the first trial to find him guilty of either first degree murder or second degree murder. Then during the second trial, Green was charged with first degree murder, which he had already been tried for. My question is, if (for example) during the first trial Green had been charged with Murder One and had been found not guilty, could he then be charged with Murder 2 in a second trial?

As for the Nielson case, he was charged with two offenses: adultary and bigamy, which does not apply to the Double Jeopardy law, as a defendant can be charged with different offenses revolving around the same crime, as you posted, Pogue.

Thanks for all of your postings. Does anyone else have anything for us? Thank you.

P.S. I am not referring to multiple charges at the same trial, just to clarify. I do not mean to say that a defendant can be charged with murder one and manslaughter of the same victim at the same trial. Even though jury's have been asked in the past to find a defendant guilty of either murder one or manslaughter at one trial, I do not think this is good practice, as it gives a possibly innocent defendant little chance of justice.

Edited for spelling error.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:

My question is, if (for example) during the first trial Green had been charged with Murder One and had been found not guilty, could he then be charged with Murder 2 in a second trial?

No, I don't think so unless there is some sort of appeal. It has to do with the doctrine of merger.

For example burglary and trespass. To have burglary you need to have all the requirements of trespass plus intent to commit a crime. If the prosecution decides not to pursue a trespass jury instruction. And the jury decides there was trespass but no burglary and finds the defendant not guilt of burglary. The prosecution cannot go back and then charge the guy with trespass. That would be double jeopardy. However, if there is evidence later that the person trespassed on that property to kill someone.

However, I think the state government can find someone not guilty of murder. Then the federal government can still prosecute for the same person for the murder of the same individual because it is two different laws that are violated.

so you have in washington in rank.

assault in the 4d
assault in the 3d
assault in the 2d
assault in the 1d
negligent homicide
manslaughter
murder in the 2d
murder in the 1d
aggravated murder in the 1d

So if someone was on trial for aggravated murder in the 1d, the prosecutor cannot go back and try to get them in a second trial for assault in the 4d. The reason why prosecutors take the manslaugter or assault instructions out is because they are afraid that instead of murder 1 the jury will more likely to give manslaughter. So they make the choice binary for the jurors to get more murder convictions. Or so someone told me.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I believe the doctrine of merger means that a suspect cannot be charged with/found guilty of both manslaughter and murder one of the same victim during the same trial. Also, it means a suspect cannot be charged with/found guilty of both assault and robbery, "because a robbery includes an assault." However, the doctrine of merger does not seem to state that a suspect, after being found not guilty of murder one, cannot be charged with manslaughter in a new trial. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_merger
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think you have your answer right there.
quote:

an acquittal or conviction for murder will bar any prosecution for manslaughter if based on the same facts (lesser included example)

Double Jeopardy and lesser included offenses.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
What if there is new evidence?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
What if there is new evidence?

As has been explained several times, it doesn't matter.

Let me quote the Green case:

quote:
The (Double Jeopardy) Clause, therefore, guarantees that the State shall not be permitted to make repeated attempts to convict the accused, "thereby subjecting him to embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent he may be found guilty."
Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
OTL
The First USA Noel


Icon 07 posted      Profile for OTL   E-mail OTL   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
What if there is new evidence?

Even if new evidence comes out post-acquittal, it can't be used for a new trial. (The point is to ensure that the prosecutors do everything they can to gather all the evidence they can, and use it. Otherwise, prosecutors could present only minimal evidence, adding a bit more to the case after each acquittal until they get a conviction. The Double Jeopardy clause is designed to prevent such harassment.) (And, yes, this does mean that an acquitted murderer can go on national television and admit their guilt, and still not face another murder charge. That's the risk we take, but the alternative is far worse.)

However, even after acquittal, a defendant can still face civil charges, but those won't result in prison time. (In some cases, they can also face criminal charges of violating the victim's civil rights, but that would be a different charge than that with which they were initially charged.)

--------------------
"I've allowed my love of gravy to distract from my prescriptivist linguistic crusade!"
-T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

Posts: 726 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by OTL:
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
What if there is new evidence?

Even if new evidence comes out post-acquittal, it can't be used for a new trial. (The point is to ensure that the prosecutors do everything they can to gather all the evidence they can, and use it. Otherwise, prosecutors could present only minimal evidence, adding a bit more to the case after each acquittal until they get a conviction. The Double Jeopardy clause is designed to prevent such harassment.)
Precisely. You have both the facts and the reasoning.

quote:
(And, yes, this does mean that an acquitted murderer can go on national television and admit their guilt, and still not face another murder charge. That's the risk we take, but the alternative is far worse.)
In the Ignatow case, referenced above, that is almost what happened. But instead of going on national television, Ignatow admitted in court, under oath that he had killed Brenda Sue Schaefer. He still could not be tried again for any homicide or other crimes related to that action. He already had been tried and acquitted.

quote:
In some cases, they can also face charges of violating the victim's civil rights, but that would be a different charge than that with which they were initially charged.)
Only if it's in another juridiction. For instance, a person found not guilty of state murder charges can be tried in federal court for violating the person's civil rights. If the state has a similar statute, it could not try the person for that crime because he was already tried for his criminal actions in the state jurisdiction.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Pogue Mahone, as I have previously said, in the first Green trial, the jury was asked to find the defendant guilty of either murder one or murder two. In the second trial, the defendant was charged with murder two. Since during both trials he was charged with murder two, this is considered double jeopardy.

OTL, prosecuters like to go to trial with as much evidence as they can get so that they are more likely to get a guilty verdict in the first (and hopefully last) trial.

As far as the Ignatow trial is concerned, that link for the pdf file won't open for me and I tried looking up the trial and I can't find anything. If someone can provide me with a link, that would be great. Until then, I cannot comment on it.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
OTL, I understand that if a defendant is found not guilty and there is no mistrial or appeal, then he/she can freely admit their guilt with no fear of being tried again or facing a prison term for that specific crime.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troodon     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
How specific are double jeopardy protections? For example, if one is tried and found innocent of murdering person X because it turns out that person X is still alive, can one go out and murder him without reprecussions because one has already been tried and found innocent? It's ridiculous, but I wonder about the specific rule that prevents it from happening.

--------------------
Fools! You've over-estimated me!

Posts: 3745 | From: New York City | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seaboe Muffinchucker     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Megamel, can you get through to here? That's a 48 Hours story about Ignatow.

Seaboe

--------------------
Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seaboe Muffinchucker     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
How specific are double jeopardy protections? For example, if one is tried and found innocent of murdering person X because it turns out that person X is still alive, can one go out and murder him without reprecussions because one has already been tried and found innocent? It's ridiculous, but I wonder about the specific rule that prevents it from happening.

Nope, you can't, because that's a different crime--happened in a different place, at a different time and in a different manner than the one for which you were tried.

Double jeopardy is very specific.

Seaboe

--------------------
Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Brad from Georgia   Author's Homepage   E-mail Brad from Georgia   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
OTL, I understand that if a defendant is found not guilty and there is no mistrial or appeal, then he/she can freely admit their guilt with no fear of being tried again or facing a prison term for that specific crime.

In general, only the defendant--not the state--can appeal a decision in a criminal trial. If you're found not guilty of murder, the D.A. can't yell "Mulligan!" and get a do-over.

I believe there have been cases (in fact, I know there have been) in which a defendant acquitted on a homicide charge has been tried in Federal court on a charge of denying civil rights to the victim. And of course in the O.J. Simpson case, Simpson was found not guilty of homicide, but in civil court he was adjudged liable for damages to his wife's family. Note, though, that the new trials here are for different categories of offense--denying civil rights is not a murder charge.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Soccer
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Soccer   E-mail Soccer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
What if there is new evidence?

Like they've said, new evidence still bars double jeopardy, however, there are other crimes that may be chargable by that new evidence.
Posts: 71 | From: Indiana | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Troodon,the situation you are describing is like the plot of the movie Double Jeopardy starring Ashley Judd. Her husband fakes his death and frames her so she goes to prison for his murder. I don't remember the actual charge (murder one, manslaughter, other??) or the sentence, but she does go to jail. While there she talks to another inmate who tells her about the 'double jeopardy law' and that since she was already tried for her husbands murder and found guilty, she can kill him "in the middle of time square" and there's nothing the law can do to her. This is of course after she discovers her husband is still alive and has run off with her best friend. Anyway, IMO, I do not think that could happen. I think that the courts would see these as two separate crimes and retry her for the actual murder of her husband, after striking the previous trial from the record (declaring it a mistrial, or whatever) and probably count whatever time she already served towards her new sentence, if there is one.

Thanks for the link, Seaboe.

I agree with Seaboe's response to Troodon's question, except for the part about the Double Jeopardy law being very specific. It seems that even different courts have translated the law in many different ways.

Brad From Georgia, I am aware that "only the defendant--not the state--can appeal a decision in a criminal trial", but what I am wondering is if the prosecution can charge the defendant with a separate, lesser charge in a completly different trial for the same crime? I know you are right about the OJ Simpson trial. He was found not guilty in the criminal case, but guilty in the civil case.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Megamel_99
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Regarding the Ignatow trial, can someone tell me what he was charged with during the first trial? Was it murder one? And were there other charges, such as rape or assault? Thanks for any information. It doesn't seem to say in the 48 Hours article.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seaboe Muffinchucker     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Megamel_99:
I agree with Seaboe's response to Troodon's question, except for the part about the Double Jeopardy law being very specific. It seems that even different courts have translated the law in many different ways.

Okay, let me correct that to say it's very fact specific.

My experience and what I've read tell me that the plot to Double Jeopardy as you describe it wouldn't work--i.e., that she wouldn't be able to murder her husband and get off scot free. That's because her "second" murder is a different crime--different time and place if not different method.

When a person who is acquited of, say, felony murder, is subsequently charged with robbery the whole point is that they are not being charged with the same crime. They are being charged with a different crime arising out of the same events.

Seaboe

--------------------
Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 217 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
This is also talked about on the movie "Double Jeopardy" with Ashley Judd.

She's told that if the spouse was still alive,
she's been setup for his murder but she knows she didn't do it,
but there was evidence to the contrary including holding the knife,
she gets parole and escapes,
find out if he's still alive and kill him,
his identity is confirmed as the dead man,
she can't be tried again for his death.

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seaboe Muffinchucker     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
This is also talked about on the movie "Double Jeopardy" with Ashley Judd.

She's told that if the spouse was still alive,
she's been setup for his murder but she knows she didn't do it,
but there was evidence to the contrary including holding the knife,
she gets parole and escapes,
find out if he's still alive and kill him,
his identity is confirmed as the dead man,
she can't be tried again for his death.

Not true. It's a different crime the second time.

Change it a little and see if it makes sense:

she's been setup for embezzlement but she knows she didn't do it, but there was evidence to the contrary including the money in her bank account, she gets parole and escapes, decides to really steal the money, she can't be tried again for the embezzlement.

If that logic held true, a thief who broke into the same store twice could only be convicted the first time, which clearly isn't true.

The second murder is a different crime.

Seaboe

--------------------
Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
she's been setup for embezzlement but she knows she didn't do it, but there was evidence to the contrary including the money in her bank account, she gets parole and escapes, decides to really steal the money, she can't be tried again for the embezzlement.

Not quite the same. If the money was in her bank account, that would be similar to if the body was found in her house. A more accurate comparison would be if the company she was accused of embezzeling from framed her, but the money was never recovered (similar to the body not being found). But since money is money, they could always claim it was 'different' money the 2nd time (as opposed to being the same body).

Which brings up another set of questions. How to you accuse a person of murdering someone who's been declared legally dead? And if no body is found the 2nd time (following the first rule of murder - never let them find the body), how do you even bring it to trial? Would the prosecution first have to get the deceased's status changed (and how would they, seeing as he's dead again)? Could they prosecute them for the murder of the deceased's alias? Probably wouldn't get far if the defense could prove the 'person of the alias' didn't really exist.
(ie, if Jane Doe is convicted of killing John Doe, who is then living as Jim Smith, can she be convicted again of killing Jim Smith, who never really existed?)

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for DemonWolf     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
This is also talked about on the movie "Double Jeopardy" with Ashley Judd.

She's told that if the spouse was still alive,
she's been setup for his murder but she knows she didn't do it,
but there was evidence to the contrary including holding the knife,
she gets parole and escapes,
find out if he's still alive and kill him,
his identity is confirmed as the dead man,
she can't be tried again for his death.

I would think that since charging a person is usually a judgment call that the DA makes, it would be possible to be charged with the murder again, but I see some possibilities:
The DA gets a judge to overturn the previous conviction, meaning that as far as the law is concerned, it never happened.
The DA presents the case as a second murder (the husband is obviously dead, so this must be someone else).
The DA petitions the judge to exclude the first trial from evidence.

If I were the Defense Attorney, I would press the whole "If he was murdered back then, how can he have been killed now" defense. Remember, burden of proof is on the prosecution.

Of course, the DA doesn't really have to prove anything, he just needs to convince 12 people that you did it...

--------------------
Friends are like skittles: they come in many colors, and some are fruity!

IMJW-052804

Posts: 7224 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2