Double Jeopardy

jeopardy

jeopardy, in law, condition of a person charged with a crime and thus in danger of punishment. At common law a defendant could be exposed to jeopardy for the same offense only once; exposing a person twice is known as double jeopardy. Double jeopardy is prohibited in federal and state courts by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The concept refers to an offense, not to an act giving rise to an offense; therefore, it is possible to try a person for multiple violations arising from a single act (e.g., assault, attempted murder, and carrying a deadly weapon). Jeopardy does not exist until the jury is sworn in, or, if there is no jury, until evidence is introduced. The prohibition of double jeopardy does not preclude a second trial if the first court lacked jurisdiction (authority), if there was error in the proceedings, or if the jury could not reach a verdict. A similar principle, known as res judicata, operates in civil suits. It holds that once a civil case has been finally decided on the merits the same parties can not litigate it again. In England and Wales, revisions to criminal law that took effect in 2005 now permit the Court of Appeal to order a person acquitted of a crime to be retried if there is "new and compelling" evidence.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Double Jeopardy: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution
David S. Rudstein.
Praeger, 2004
Double Jeopardy Law Made Simple
Amar, Akhil Reed.
The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 6, April 1997
The Case of Ex Parte Lange (or How the Double Jeopardy Clause Lost Its "Life or Limb")
Limbaugh, Stephen N., Jr.
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, Winter 1999
Changing the Tide of Double Jeopardy in the Context of the Continuing Criminal Enterprise
Kappeler, Amy J.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 87, No. 3, Spring 1997
Double Jeopardy Protection from Civil Sanctions after Hudson V. United States
Melenyzer, Lisa.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 89, No. 3, Spring 1999
Double Jeopardy, Post-Blakely
Cone, Timothy.
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 4, Fall 2004
Double Jeopardy and the United States Sentencing Guidelines
Wiet, Elizabeth J.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 86, No. 4, Summer 1996
Separate but Equal: Double Jeopardy and Environmental Enforcement Actions
Kellner, Katherine C.
Environmental Law, Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 1998
Truly Constitutional? the American Double Jeopardy Clause and Its Australian Analogues
DiBianco, Gary.
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, Fall 1995
The Rights of the Accused in Law and Action
Stuart S. Nagel.
Sage, 1972
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "The New Broom: The Federalization of Double Jeopardy"
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