Double Jeopardy: Petitioner V.

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Petitioner also challenged the logic of the government’s argument that the jury instruction constituted plain error. For Petitioner, if the error was so egregious, the government should have objected at trial. Indeed, in other contexts, appellate courts applied the plain error doctrine to legal questions that were contested at the underlying trial, not in situations where there was no objection, and therefore no dispute, between the parties.

In support of this argument, Petitioner analogized to the Court’s precedent in the Double Jeopardy context. Petitioner noted that the “the plainness and even egregiousness of an error in adding an extra-statutory element is of no moment for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause where an acquittal was
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Again conceding that the majority of courts reject a jurisdictional view of the statute of limitations, Petitioner nonetheless argued that primary policy consideration underlying the statute, which is to limit the government’s power to prosecute citizens for crimes that are based on untimely indictments, counseled in favor of adopting the jurisdictional approach. Additionally, the federal statute prohibited Article III courts from imposing punishment “when the prerequisite of timely indictment is not satisfied.” Finally, a jurisdictional approach was consistent with the principle that criminal statutes should be “liberally interpreted in favor of …show more content…
Based on the parties’ arguments, this is not the case here. Petitioner does not dispute that the evidence was sufficient to convict him on either count. Instead, Petitioner argues that the government is required to provide guilt on both elements simply because it did not object to the erroneous jury instruction. However, Petitioner may find it difficult to demonstrate that the Fifth Circuit’s refusal to apply the law of the case doctrine actually prejudiced Petitioner or compromised the integrity of the trial.

For example, this is not a case where the erroneous jury instruction made it easier for the government to obtain a conviction. Instead, the core of Petitioner’s argument is that a conviction under a federal statute should be reversed even where there is no dispute that the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction under the plain language of that law. This argument, which is based on a clerical error in a jury instruction that erroneously increased the government’s burden of proof, seems to place form over substance. Petitioner is relying on an erroneous jury instruction not for the purpose of arguing that it would result in a grave injustice, such as a wrongful conviction or deprivation of due process, but to overturn a conviction that was consistent with the statutory scheme. In this circumstance, and resulting injustice would likely be to the

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