CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CrimProf Erlinder discusses Double Jeopardy Fears

Erlinderpeter_1 From William Mitchell College of Law CrimProf C.Peter Erlinder recently discusses the justification of authorities in a delayed arrest of a a man who admitted to repeatedly striking the 1 month-old child of his fiance when it would not stop crying. 

Authorities were worried that if they charged the man with assault, and if he pleaded guilty immediately, and if the baby died afterward, the man might be able to argue against being charged with murder because of the constitutional protection against being tried twice for the same crime, known as double jeopardy.

Actual examples of such legal tactics are uncommon, said CrimProf C. Peter Erlinder. Speaking hypothetically, he said copping a quick plea and then hiding behind double jeopardy isn't as easy as it might sound.

"There's no obligation for the judge to accept a plea, and there's no obligation to accept the plea as a complete resolution to the matter," he said. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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