double jeopardy


double jeopardy
the subjecting of a person to a second trial or punishment for the same offense for which the person has already been tried or punished.
[1905-10]

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In law, the prosecution of a person for an offense for which he or she already has been prosecuted.

In U.S. law, double jeopardy is prohibited by the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which states that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb." The clause bars second prosecutions after acquittal or conviction and prohibits multiple convictions for the same offense. Thus a person cannot be guilty of both murder and manslaughter for the same homicide, nor can a person be retried for the same crime after the case has been resolved. A person can, however, be convicted of both murder and robbery if the murder arose from the robbery. The prohibition against double jeopardy is not violated when an individual is charged for behaviour stemming from an offense for which he has been charged in a different jurisdiction or in a different court (e.g., a civil court as opposed to a criminal court). See also rights of the accused; due process.

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law
      in law, protection against the use by the state of certain multiple forms of prosecution.

      In general (in countries observing the rule of double jeopardy), a person cannot be convicted twice for the same crime based on the same conduct. If a person robs a bank, he cannot twice be convicted of robbery for the same offense. Nor can he be convicted of two different crimes based upon the same conduct unless the two crimes are defined so as to prohibit conduct of significantly different kinds. Thus, a man cannot be convicted of both murder and manslaughter for the same killing, but he can be convicted of both murder and robbery if the murder arose out of the robbery. The defense of double jeopardy also prevents the state from retrying a person for the same crime after he has been acquitted. Nor can the state voluntarily dismiss a case after trial has begun in order to start over. Acquittal in one state or nation does not, however, always bar trial in another.

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Universalium. 2010.