Double Jeopardy Redefined???

This is a discussion on Double Jeopardy Redefined??? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Alas, the law is all about form. Why would this be any different? I believe we'll have to agree to disagree on this one....

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Thread: Double Jeopardy Redefined???

  1. #16
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    Alas, the law is all about form. Why would this be any different?

    I believe we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Alas, the law is all about form. Why would this be any different?

    I believe we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
    It is all about form to achieve justice. If justice isn't achieved the form is crapola.
    Even this business (common though it is) of charging a laundry list from top to bottom in the hopes that one
    will stick stinks. The prosecutors should be required to pick the crime they think they can prove, and prove it, and
    that should be it. I'm sick of watching people compelled to choose between pleading guilty to something that gets them
    9 months and going to trial and risking 20 years. Its fundamentally wrong, and it doesn't deliver justice. Though not quite the
    same issue as double jeopardy it is related, as charging multiple crimes from one incident is (notwithstanding what the judges say)
    its own form of multiple jeopardy.

    IF someone is accused of robbing a bank, prove it. Don't play games and tack on criminal trespass just because.
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    I'm with Hopyard. The prosecutors are the ones trained in the legal system and have access to all the laws and given ample time to think things through. They should be required to make a decision as to what crime, if any, the accused may have committed. The jury is there to decide if there is enough evidence to convict someone of a crime, not which specific crime was committed. If the prosecutors aren't sure which crime was committed, then they shouldn't be prosecuting. When you're toying with people's lives you shouldn't take the approach of "if we throw enough stuff against the wall, surely something will stick". As to this case, if the prosecutor can take such an approach, then even things up and take the charges that were decided unanimously off the table.
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  5. #19
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    I agree with MattInFla. Nothing settled...nothing in stone. Do it over. It was a hung jury...no verdict.

    As far as the options given to the jury...sounds like when someone has a civil law suit and names everyone they can. They let the court throw out the ones that can't be legally held responsible.

    Giving the jury a choice means that there are options that they may all agree on....usually. Less chance of a "stale mate". IMO
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    I'm with Hopyard. The prosecutors are the ones trained in the legal system and have access to all the laws and given ample time to think things through. They should be required to make a decision as to what crime, if any, the accused may have committed. The jury is there to decide if there is enough evidence to convict someone of a crime, not which specific crime was committed. If the prosecutors aren't sure which crime was committed, then they shouldn't be prosecuting. When you're toying with people's lives you shouldn't take the approach of "if we throw enough stuff against the wall, surely something will stick". As to this case, if the prosecutor can take such an approach, then even things up and take the charges that were decided unanimously off the table.
    Bingo. Charge what you can prove and don't force people to lie about guilt to avoid a long sentence.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    Well, the last time I checked, the government writes the judge's check, ergo, he is a government employee. Second, I concur, as did Blueford's attorney, that the manslaughter and NH charge were open for retrial. When the jury has expressed a unanimous opinion to acquit on specific charges, I believe that that should be the end of those charges even if they hang on the lesser charges. Based on Sotomayer's dissent, it appears there is ample case law to support this opinion. The fact that the judge issues the proper jury instruction then fails to remember what that instruction was and that failure ends up as being part of the reason to dismiss the jury further aggravates the situation.
    So you are saying the whole thing is rigged against the accused no matter what? If the judges are in cahoots with the prosecution (the government) how is anyone ever acquitted of anything? No verdict was ever returned. All the foreperson reported to the judge was that at that point in their deliberations they did not believe they had sufficient evidence to convict on either capital murder or murder one. That is why they were actively deliberating the other possible charges. People change their minds. Until a verdict is returned they can change their minds on anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    It is all about form to achieve justice. If justice isn't achieved the form is crapola.
    Even this business (common though it is) of charging a laundry list from top to bottom in the hopes that one
    will stick stinks. The prosecutors should be required to pick the crime they think they can prove, and prove it, and
    that should be it. I'm sick of watching people compelled to choose between pleading guilty to something that gets them
    9 months and going to trial and risking 20 years. Its fundamentally wrong, and it doesn't deliver justice. Though not quite the
    same issue as double jeopardy it is related, as charging multiple crimes from one incident is (notwithstanding what the judges say)
    its own form of multiple jeopardy.

    IF someone is accused of robbing a bank, prove it. Don't play games and tack on criminal trespass just because.
    I have a problem with the assorted "lesser included offenses" we frequently see. I agree with Hopyard (shocker!) to an extent on this. Charge what you think you can prove and give your best shot. That is not to say I don't think we should charge for each traffic violation during a pursuit or a count of robbery for each victim in an ongoing hold up like multiple customers in a bank. But if someone feloniously shoots me I expect the prosecutor to convict them of shooting me. I don't want hear about the jury getting the option of convicting for misdemeanor assault and a noise violation instead.

    I also have a BIG problem with this serving sentences concurrently crap. If you get convicted of five counts of something with mandatory of ten years each, You should begin serving the second sentence when the first one ends. This serving concurrently stuff just gives the bad guys a bunch of freebies.
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    So you are saying the whole thing is rigged against the accused no matter what? If the judges are in cahoots with the prosecution (the government) how is anyone ever acquitted of anything? No verdict was ever returned. All the foreperson reported to the judge was that at that point in their deliberations they did not believe they had sufficient evidence to convict on either capital murder or murder one. That is why they were actively deliberating the other possible charges. People change their minds. Until a verdict is returned they can change their minds on anything.
    I am not saying its rigged, but I don't think it is run with the innocent until proven guilty mindset either. I think judges and other court personnel get jaded as they see a more-or-less constant stream of low-lifes running through the court system. They get used to treating them as they expect them to be and one thing leads to another. I do not think the system takes the view that we all have rights until we are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That all having been said, I don't think most judges are evil and start a case with a how can I put the screws to this guy approach, but they are human and I think they have a preconcieved notion about the people that are run through their courtrooms.

    It is a tough mindset to describe. It is somewhat like Ohio SB305 that is currently flying through the legislature. It got through the senate in a few days and the Gov wants it bad. The state police have made several statements that say they are frustrated with not being able to arrest people who have hidden compartments in their cars when those compartments are empty because they just know that the person either just made a delivery of drugs or is on the way to pick them up. The cops see the dealers day in and day out and generally have a pretty good feel for who they are, but to make an empty compartment a felony in and of itself, well that is nuts. It is that kind of mindset I am trying to describe.

    As the bill is written, a woman's purse or a briefcase in a trunk could be a felony. Fortunatlely, we have managed to stall it in the House for a few days and they are reconsidering some of the wording. If you want to read more about SB305 it is here (46 pages worth) - Ohioans For Concealed Carry Discussion Forums • View topic - "Secret Compartments Could Get Drivers Busted"


    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I have a problem with the assorted "lesser included offenses" we frequently see. I agree with Hopyard (shocker!) to an extent on this. Charge what you think you can prove and give your best shot. That is not to say I don't think we should charge for each traffic violation during a pursuit or a count of robbery for each victim in an ongoing hold up like multiple customers in a bank. But if someone feloniously shoots me I expect the prosecutor to convict them of shooting me. I don't want hear about the jury getting the option of convicting for misdemeanor assault and a noise violation instead.
    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I also have a BIG problem with this serving sentences concurrently crap. If you get convicted of five counts of something with mandatory of ten years each, You should begin serving the second sentence when the first one ends. This serving concurrently stuff just gives the bad guys a bunch of freebies.
    I agree with you on this. In general, I am hardline on criminals, but I am also hardline on the process. I think the judge screwed up big time in the Blueford case on several fronts, but he let the cat out of the bag with his line of questioning. It is not the defendant's fault that the jury was asked what they thought on the 2 major charges. I realize that I disagree with many/most here, but that is how I see it.
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  9. #23
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    The OH Senators responsible for that bill should lose their positions just introducing a bill like that b/c of their blatant non-comprehension of our Constitution. The State Police are no better - maybe they should learn to do their jobs better. Perfect example of why there must be separation of powers and checks and balances. Also makes me wonder how many of those searches where they found empty secret compartments were legal.

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    The government has successfully made the public believe that it is to hard to convict real criminals. That the laws are to lax allowing criminals to walk. The truth is that it's supposed to be hard to convict a person of a crime. That criminals don't walk because of lax laws. They walk because the State did not present an airtight case.
    We are slowly switching from the State having to prove a persons guilt to that person having to prove his innocence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    The government has successfully made the public believe that it is to hard to convict real criminals. That the laws are to lax allowing criminals to walk. The truth is that it's supposed to be hard to convict a person of a crime. That criminals don't walk because of lax laws. They walk because the State did not present an airtight case.
    We are slowly switching from the State having to prove a persons guilt to that person having to prove his innocence.

    Michael
    Or to plea to something, anything, to avoid the gamble of a trial and a long sentence. While not strictly a double jeopardy issue,
    the plea deal thing perverts justice. It may be an efficient way to get folks off to the pokey and save the tax payer
    the cost of trial, but it doesn't really serve justice if it is not used carefully.

    I read somewhere that 1/3 of adult males have spent some time in jail or prison. That is astounding, and it says lot about us
    that isn't so good. Way too many things have been turned into crimes deemed worthy of significant punishment. There's a lot
    we need to rethink.
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    I have a hard time with that 1/3 number, I'd be willing to bet that they just took the number of convictions that resulted in jail time/male population without accounting for repeat offenders. Can't prove it, but given the history of stats like these I'd bet that's the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    I have a hard time with that 1/3 number, I'd be willing to bet that they just took the number of convictions that resulted in jail time/male population without accounting for repeat offenders. Can't prove it, but given the history of stats like these I'd bet that's the case.
    No, but they did include any time in jail for any reason, including being arrested for PI and set free the next day to pay a minor
    fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    No, but they did include any time in jail for any reason, including being arrested for PI and set free the next day to pay a minor
    fine.
    Do you have a link to that study

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Do you have a link to that study
    No, sorry, I'm going by memory. I'll see what I can find though and if I can find it I'll be back and post a url.

    LATER-- Well I found this, and it is worse than I thought:
    "More than 40 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson's crime commission reported that half of American men would be arrested at some point in their lives. Today, crime data remain consistent with that figure ...."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125851115456653127.html
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  16. #30
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    Like I said:
    "Researchers who announced the stunning arrest rates in 1967 were stumped by data deficiencies, such as their inability to tell whether the same person was being counted more than once -- an often overlooked point the researchers made in their own report. "

    The newer study only accounted for 3 very small areas of the country - not statistically significant.

    And there was a political motive behind the report: "That report's finding on arrest rates, while attention-grabbing, was ancillary to its main purpose of making law-and-order recommendations to President Johnson." So, given the political climate of the Cold War, there was probably pressure for the report to substantiate the need for more law enforcement, i.e. bigger budgets

    Look at what going on at the time - the Red Scare, the Cold War, etc - it's easy to come up with estimates like that when witch hunts were the norm.

    I chalk it up to being in the same group of statistical studies that gave us "over 3k children are killed by guns every year", "you are 93 times more likely to be killed by a gun in your own home", and any other studies quoted by VPC or the Brady Bunch.

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