Double jeopardy is the prosecution of a person for an offense for which he or she has already been prosecuted. The double jeopardy clause, which is in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, was designed to protect an individual from being subject to trials and possible convictions more then once for an alleged offense. The idea was not to give the State too much over the individual, this way no individual will be subject to embarrassment, expense, and ordeal against being tried for an alleged offense more then once. It also reduces the possibility of someone innocent being found guilty. The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment embodies three protections to criminal defendants; (1) it protects against second punishment for the same offense after acquittal, (2) it protects against second punishment for the same offense after conviction, and (3) it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense. The clause not only protects the integrity of final judgment, but it protects the accused against the strain and burden of multiple trials, which would also enhance the ability of government convictions.
There have been many cases involving double jeopardy in the United States. The three cases I will be highlighting are Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184 (1957), Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28 (1978), and United States v. DiFrancesco, 449 U.S. 117 (1980).
In the Green v. United States (1957) case, Everett Green was indicted by a District of Columbia grand jury in two counts. The first count was that he had committed arson by maliciously setting fire to a house. The second count accused him of causing the death of a woman by the alleged arson. Green entered...
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...uments that attested to other convictions of DiFrancesco for the Columbus Day bombings, for loansharking, and for murder.
The District Court made findings of fact and ruled that DiFrancesco was a dangerous special offender within meaning of the statute. The court found that DiFrancesco's criminal history reveals a pattern of habitual and knowing criminal conduct of the most violent and dangerous nature against the lives and property of the citizens of this community.
The United States then took its appeal saying that the District Court abused its judgement in sentencing that amounted to additional imprisonment for the respondent. The dismissal of the Government's appeal by the Court of Appeals rested upon it's conclusion that to subject to a defendant to the risk of substitution of a greater sentence is to place him a second time in jeopardy of life or limb.
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