Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy
Cassandra Kennedy
Kaplan University

LS: 305
Professor James Kent
May 15, 2012
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, “In essence,…protects criminal defendants against three things: (1) a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; (2) a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and (3) multiple punishments for the same offense”( U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 5). Basically, this means that a defendant cannot be charged and convicted of the same offense, which is simple enough, however it is not that cut and dry. There are certain situations in which this can happen without double jeopardy being violated.
The first scenario in which a person can be tried twice for the   same crime without double jeopardy being violated is demonstrated in Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82(1985). Larry Gene Heath was tried and convicted in both Georgia and Alabama for the murder of his wife however Heath’s Fifth Amendment rights under the Double Jeopardy clause were not violated. Heath crossed state lines from Alabama into Georgia to hire and pick up the people who would kill his wife. Heath then brought the two men back across the border into Alabama where he had the men kidnap his wife. His wife was found murdered in her car which was in Georgia. In Georgia, Heath pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of “Malice Murder” and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. In Alabama, Heath was charged with and found guilty of “Murder During Kidnapping” and was sentenced to death. Heath appealed his conviction in Alabama inferring that his Fifth Amendment rights had been violated under the Double Jeopardy Clause by his being convicted of the same crime twice. The Alabama Supreme Court held that “successive prosecutions by two states for same conduct were not barred by double jeopardy clause”( Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82(1985)). In this case, Double Jeopardy was not violated because although he...