Double jeopardy has always been a seemingly minute, yet elaborate loose thread in the fabric of law. But what is it, really? Through the screens presented by pop culture and the pages of law and constitution books, double jeopardy is a concept that has been expounded, simplified, and given examples innumerable times. However, it is still not fully understood by many.
Here is a quick rundown on double jeopardy based on books and Ashley Judd’s movie.
Thanks to the 1999 American crime-thriller film “Double Jeopardy,” the concept has been seen as a way to elude the punishment of a crime — in this case, murder — and to extract revenge.
The story takes point when Libby (Ashley Judd) wakes up and discovers that not only is her husband Nick (Bruce Greenwood) dead, but her hands are filled with blood while holding a knife. She was then found by the authorities that way and was convicted of murder.
While doing her time, one of her fellow inmates gave her the very premise of how double jeopardy works: since she has already been found guilty of murdering her husband, she will no longer be tried for committing the same crime twice. Although this makes for an interesting premise for the movie, this misleads many to believe that double jeopardy is as easy as that.
By the Book
Under the State of Texas, double jeopardy entails that:
“No person, for the same offense, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty; nor shall a person be again put upon trial for the same offense after a verdict of not guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction.”
First off, the purpose of double jeopardy is to protect citizens from being prosecuted for the same offense after being acquitted and to avoid multiple punishments for one crime. In a nut shell, the movie did show the nature of double jeopardy; however, it failed to show the full extent of what it can really do.
A clearer analogy would be this: You are accused of taking a bite of an apple, and then you are acquitted or convicted because of that. Double jeopardy states that you will no longer be tried if you take the exact same bite out of the same apple. However, double jeopardy does not protect you when you are charged of biting the apple in a different way, or if you dropped it. The case has to be exactly the same, and you are still open to be charged of lesser crimes.
For Additional Information
Our main concern here at Cagle Bail Bonds is how you and your loved ones can quickly and efficiently manage your brush with the law without the unnecessary hassle, stress, and expense. Avoid misconceptions like in double jeopardy by giving us a call today about your bail bond inquiries.