Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 month ago

Is double jeopardy really absolute?

For example, does that mean a person who is acquitted of murder could immediately walk out to the steps of the courthouse, look into the news cameras, and confess to committing the murder while describing every gruesome detail, and they still get to just go home due to double jeopardy?

Seems like a dumb law to have.

Even if there's new evidence later you still can't be charged again just because you managed to BS the jury the first time around?

I could understand the prosecution not being able to present the same exact case, with the same exact evidence, to a new jury after an acquittal.

But if there is substantial NEW evidence then I fail to see the benefit in such a protection.

4 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Yes, that is the case.  New evidence is another thing.  Which is why people don't walk out and describe the crime.

  • 1 month ago

    On the other hand, without the rule, the government could prosecute you, lose the case, prosecute again, lose again, and keep doing that for years and years. That’s what happen in England centuries ago. They could claim “new evidence” each time ... we found four fingerprints ... we found five fingerprints ... we found six.

  • 1 month ago

    I dont know how often your example happens or if it ever happened (in that way) but the reason double jeopardy exists is to avoid trying people over and over. Obviously, it can be reasoned that anyone after multiple trials would ultimately be convicted. one of the reasons plea deals are made. to avoid uncertainty. but its overall a positive thing as it avoids continuous harassment while also letting defendants be free who confess afterward. Fair? no but needed for keeping the government in check. 

  • 1 month ago

    Yes, a person who is acquitted of murder could immediately walk out to the steps of the courthouse, look into the news cameras, and confess to committing the murder while describing every gruesome detail, and they still get to just go home due to double jeopardy.

    Even if there's new evidence later, you still can't be charged again.

    In some cases, it may be possible to charge a different crime.

    Also, in some cases, if a crime violated both state law and federal law, then after a person is acquitted in state court, it may still be possible to try the person in federal court.

    But they cannot be tried again in the same court for the same crime, even if there is new evidence.

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