Double Jeopardy Clause Research Paper

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Despite reservations concerning the potential for state prosecutorial inefficacy during a trial which might prohibit the federal government from meting out possibly deserved punishment in a subsequent federal trial, in the interest of citizen freedom and the right to due process, I would side with the dissenting opinion of the court, and hold that the Double Jeopardy Clause applies in the matter of Abbate v. United States. Central to the debate over the application of the Double Jeopardy Clause in federal prosecutorial action, is the original intent of the Double Jeopardy Clause. Mr. Justice Brennan’s majority opinion interprets the Double Jeopardy Clause as a preventative measure against an abusive federal government attempting to try and …show more content…
The defendant is entitled to a fair trial both when indicted by the state and the federal government. Yet if someone commits an action that violates both state and federal statutes and the federal government is allowed to indict the defendant after the state trial has concluded, it would seem that one of two things would occur during the initial state trial. Either (a) the defendant participates in the state trial process as they normally would and is either acquitted or found guilty. If they are found guilty, they enter the second (federal) trial at a significant disadvantage. Either way the information, evidence and witnesses unveiled in the state trial are bound to end up in the federal trial as well — thus the defendant shows their hand, and is essentially forced to incriminate themselves or face a more significant state sentence. Or (b) the defendant invokes the fifth amendment throughout the first (state) trial, accepts the more significant punishment (which is still almost always less harsh than the federal courts), and saves their strongest defense for the federal

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