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Authors

Robert Matz

Abstract

This Note argues that the application of the dual sovereignty doctrine to cases involving successive state and federal prosecutions, where the initial prosecution resulted in an acquittal, violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Part I discusses the rationale for the prohibition against double jeopardy and the principle of dual sovereignty. Part II outlines the Supreme Court jurisprudence regarding successive prosecutions brought by independent sovereigns. Part III reviews the arguments against applying the dual sovereignty doctrine in the context of successive prosecutions where the initial prosecution resulted in an acquittal and proposes that the Supreme Court reconsider the doctrine and confine its application strictly to cases involving persons acting under the color of state authority. This Note concludes that the present application of the principle of dual sovereignty violates the Constitution and derogates the integrity of the American criminal justice system.

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