Articles Tagged with double jeopardy

A person being tried at court-martial may have their case dismissed before the members (jury) reach any findings. One way that can happen is when the military judge declares a mistrial. Your military defense lawyer should know what to do if the same charges are re-referred to a court-martial–the prosecution taking a second attempt to convict you.

In a recent case, we had that happen. Unlike uniformed defense counsel, we immediately filed a Writ of Mandamus and Prohibition to prevent the second trial. In Murillo, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals has agreed that (1) the court has jurisdiction to hear a Writ petition on this issue and (2) the military judge erred in declaring a mistrial. Thus, the court has dismissed the charges. (As of 5 Feb., we do have to wait to see if the prosecution will appeal that decision.)

The Double Jeopardy Clause‘s whole concept is to protect the accused from a second or subsequent trial on the same charges. The trial itself is what is prohibited. The case is United States v. Murillo, No. 202200132 (N-M Ct. Crim. App. Feb. 3, 2023) (unpub.). The Double Jeopardy Clause is in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, which says, “No person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . . . ” The bar against double jeopardy comes from English common law, possibly from Roman law. See F. Ward, Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. 26 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 1477 (1989). Ward points out that a double jeopardy challenge can be waived by a pretrial agreement because of a Supreme Court decision in United States v. Broce. The author suggests that the military judge should include in their inquiry about whether a waiver is knowing and intentional and whether the defendant understands that waiving the right to trial as part of a plea agreement is also waiving the double jeopardy claim.

Everyone remembers Pierce and Pierce credit – right.  DMLHS at CasaCAAFLog has found this interesting opinion from the federal district court.

This case is before the court on defendant’s motion to dismiss (no. 6). At issue is whether the United States government, consistent with the constitutional requirement of due process, may prosecute a military servicemember in a civilian court for a crime committed on a military installation when the servicemember (a) has already received “non-judicial punishment” pursuant to Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 815 (“Article 15”); (b) has thereby waived his right to trial by court martial; (c) has not been told that he would be prosecuted in a civilian court anyway; and (d) could have foreclosed both non-judicial punishment and the civilian prosecution by asserting his right to a court-martial. While defendant argues several grounds for dismissal, the court grants the motion on the ground that under the circumstances presented here, this civilian prosecution violates defendant’s right to due process of law under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Anticipate some change in procedures at Quantico.

An airman shot during a disagreement with a fellow airman appeared indecisive about what actually happened in a Rapid City apartment last September.

Piland recalled fighting with Santana and holding him in a choke hold, but did not remember statements he made to civilian investigators. He also had no recollection of portions of his testimony before a Pennington County grand jury.

Santana initially faced charges in Pennington County for shooting Piland three times. Those charges were dropped and he was turned over to military authorities for prosecution in October.

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