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Why can't a person be charged with the same crime twice?
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Why can't a person be charged with the same crime twice?

I know it's in the U.S constitution, but think about it: wouldn't that mean that they would be allowed to get away with murder, rape, or treason as many times as they want just because they got charged with it before?

Can someone explain this to me? Thanks.



It's called double jeopardy and it's just not fair. People get away with murder/rape/treason all the time. Some don't ever get tried even once. Take the military for example. Is any reason for these things better than the next? The fact is these things are wrong and we need to eliminate them completely by getting to the root of the problem.

A person can be charged with the same crime twice...

Go watch that movie Double Jeopardy.

That's not exactly how it works. You can't be tried for the same exact crime twice. It's called double jeopardy. It prevents an innocent person from being tried and tried again and again for the same crime until finally being found guilty by a dirty judge or jury. If a person commits the same type of crime they get tried for that crime because it's a different crime just the same kind of crime. There's a movie called "Double Jeopardy" which misunderstands this law and makes it seem as if the person in the movie can get away with murder because they were already tried but this is actually not true.

zon moy
because in the past the ability to charge and try people over and over again for the same crime until you got the verdict you wanted was severely abused by the british government and the colonial governments before the bill of rights was passed.

You can't be put in jeopardy of life and limb multiple times for the SAME CRIME. That means if I rob a bank you can't put me on trial for robbing THAT BANK multiple times. If I go rob 10 banks I can be put on trial for robbing a bank 10 times.

Because can you imagine someone just going after you over and over again. Sometimes we have to sacrifice attempted perfection for "very good".

because they need new evidence to support it.


Randy B
You are getting the issue confused. Someone can't be charged for the same crime twice, not can't have the same charge levied against them twice.

For example, Bob is accused of murdering Tim. Bob gets charged with murder and for what ever reason he is acquitted and found not guilty. While the DA can appeal that acquittal on legal grounds, he cannot charge Bob again with the murder of Time (as a separate charge from the first one) or chage him with manslaughter.

Now, if Bob is later accused of murdering Lucy he can be charged with murder again but only because it is a separate incident of a similar charge.

Maybe you should go to school more often.

A person can't be charged with the same crime twice, but a person can be charged multiple times by the same type of crime.

You can be charged again for the same type of crime, meaning if you were charged for murder of John Doe, you were found not guilty, you can't be tried for that specific crime again. However if you then charged with murdering anyone else, you can be tried again for murder.

thats not how it works
you cant be charged with the same one crime twice
for example you you were found not guilty for lack of evidence in a hit and run, but three years later they found more evidence they would not be able to charge you with a hit and run again

You misunderstand.

If a person commits murder and gets off, then commits another murder later, he can certainly be charged, tried and convicted of that crime.

Well, if they got charged with it before and were found guilty they'd have to wait until they got out of prison. If they are tried for something and it fails to produce a conviction of guilt, you can't try them again, because if you could, you could keep trying them for the same crime. Being under constant charge for the same crime is a prison in itself. So you get one chance to prove innocence or be found guilty. This also makes it in the best interest of the prosecution to be sure they get the case right, because they don't get a second chance.

A person cannot be charged twice for the same OFFENSE. You can be charged many times for the same type of crime, but once acquitted of a particular instance (for instance, robbing me last year), you cannot be charged with that again. You can still be charged with robbing my next door neighbor last week.

Double jeopardy (the name for charging someone twice) is unfair because it would allow the government to unfairly target a person, trying over and over until they won, placing unreasonable costs and risk on the accused. They get one shot: convict or give up.

You can be charged with the same crime twice if you commit it twice.

You just can't be charged twice for the same instance of crime.

The law says that they can't be tried for the same specific crime twice.

If someone commits a robbery, and then someday they commit another robbery, they can be tried for it.

On the other hand, if someone commits a robbery, is tried and acquitted, they cannot be charged for that robbery again.

The idea is to protect people from malicious prosecution. It keep the courts from messing with someones life by tying them up with defending the same case over and over.

- Stuart

If I killed Bob, and the police filed charges against me and I went to trial but then the Jury found me innocent then I will never be charged with Bob's murder again. But if I went out then and killed Tom then I can be retried for murder, but not Bob's.

This can be confusing because O.J. Simpson was found innocent in criminal court for murder, but was then taken to civil court and was found guilty of murder. But because it was civil court then there was no jail sentence, instead he was sentenced to pay damages.

Pajama Time
no no no, it's not the same crime, it's the same instance. A man could be charged with larceny, and they try him and decide that he's not guilty. They can't try him again for that instance, but if he went and stole something later, he could be tried for it.

The historical underpinnings involve the trial of William Penn. The king imprisoned the jury because they refused to vote guilty. There were other such cases. That led to the legal doctrine that once someone is acquitted, there can be no review of that. That lack of review led to the conclusion that no one can order a new trial after and acquittal.

It the same individual crime, not the same kind of crime

so OJ cant be charged with murder of Nicole again, but he can get charged with murder of someone else

Its was designed to prevent the state from just holding you indefinetly, keep trying you until they get a guilty verdict- which would be a de facto life sentence in itself

Anti Censorship
Because you cannot kill John Doe at 5:30 pm on Monday, December 21, 2009 twice its physically impossible.

Yeah you don't understand what it means, it does not mean once you've murdered someone you can do it again and not be charged. If you do it again then obviously you will be charged again but its a different instance. Same crime different scenario.

No. It means that if they are charged with a crime ( I.E. murder) and they are found not guilty, they can't be re-tried by a court of law. However if they are charged with the murder of someone else, they can be recharged because it is a new crime. Hope I explained it clear enough.

Okay so they cant be charged with the same extract crime, what if a murder takes place in one state and a person is found not guility that person runs to another state, then a few years later a body and more evidence is found in that state can that person be retried based in another state?

therer was an episode of law & order recently, a man convicted of murdering his wife, (no body was found), any how there marriage was rocky, and had made threats of killing er in front of witnesses. turns out his wife was indeed alive, had just run off. to cut to the chase the husband gets out of jail, tracks her down then kills her for real and admits it to police, and his lawyers says he can't be charged as double jeopardy applies, since he was already convicted of killing her.

I guess that one could argue that both murders of the same person were separate events, and not falling under double jeopardy, like if it were charged of attempted murder, which did not succored first try, resulting in a conviction, and a there would be a 2nd try by same person(post conviction) that was also unsuccessful as well that resulted in a second conviction as well for attempted murder(2nd try on same person).

It doesn't mean you can't be charged for a DIFFERENT murder/rape/robbery, you just can't be retried for the same crime once you've been acquitted.

my question is...If a person is found guilty of theft,and sentenced,can they come back and file a new charge because of new evidence?

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