Double Jeopardy - the 5th Amendment Essay

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Constitutional Law
Unit 8: Double Jeopardy
Jesely Rojas
July 13th, 2010

“The 5th Amendment is an old friend and a good friend, one of the great landmarks in men's struggle to be free of tyranny, to be decent and civilized.”
William O. Douglas

Prepare a paper analyzing why, under certain circumstances, two state trials in two different states for the murder of the same person will not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Also, analyze why, under certain circumstances, a state trial and a federal trial may be held for the murder of the same person without violating the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As part of this assignment, you should conduct legal research to support your analysis of
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In a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the Supreme Court upheld the Tenth Circuit's decision based on the distinction made in United States v. Ward between criminal and civil punishments. The Court held that the Double Jeopardy Clause does not apply to non-criminal penalties, even if the purpose of the penalty is to punish the offenders and deter future offenders. Since the first punishment handed down by the OCC - a Federal Banking Agency, not a court - was not a criminal punishment, the subsequent indictments were upheld. Overruling its 1989 holding in U.S. v. Halper, the court rules that the double jeopardy clause prevents only multiple criminal prosecutions and/or punishments. When only a civil penalty has been imposed, a later criminal prosecution based on the same acts will be allowed. According to Sattazahn v. Pennsylvania (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court considers the double jeopardy clause in the context of a retrial. At his first trial, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, but the penalty phase resulted in a hung jury – meaning the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on whether to sentence the defendant to death or to life in prison – and therefore, a default life sentence was imposed. The defendant then appealed his conviction and won a reversal. At the retrial, the prosecution again won a conviction, but this time, it also won a unanimous verdict for the death