A Second Bite of the Apple

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A Second Bite of the Apple
Kimberly Richards
Kaplan University

Dual Sovereignty Doctrine
“Dual sovereignty doctrine provides that when a defendant in a single act violates the “peace and dignity” of two sovereigns by breaking the laws of each, he has committed two distinct “offences” for double jeopardy purposes. In applying the doctrine, the crucial determination is whether the two entities that seek successively to prosecute a defendant for the same course of conduct can be termed separate sovereigns. This determination turns on whether the prosecuting entities’ powers to undertake criminal prosecutions derive from separate and independent sources. It has been uniformly held that the states are separate sovereigns with respect to the federal government because each states’ power to prosecute derives from its inherent sovereignty, preserved to it by the Tenth Amendment, and not from the federal government. Give the distinct sources of their powers to try a defendant, the states are no less sovereign with respect to each other than they ae with respect to the Federal Government.” (Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82 (1985) Pp. 437 -439)

A Second Bite of the Apple
Double jeopardy clause prevents the government from prosecuting a person accused of a crime more than once for the same offense. To bar from retrying the accused if the prior prosecution had progressed to the point in which jeopardy had attached; if it involved the same offenses; and if both prosecutions where brought by the same governing entity. (Kanovitz, J. (2015) pg. 474)
If double jeopardy was as straight forward as it appears there wouldn’t be a vast load of case law arguing whether it had been violated by the government. There are two sources of difficulty that applies to double jeopardy, first is the “same offense” and the second the meaning of punishment. The Blockburger test is the…...

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