EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My New Essay -- Sovereign Impunity: Why Double Jeopardy Should Apply in Puerto Rico

Today, I posted my new essay, Sovereign Impunity: Why Double Jeopardy Should Apply in Puerto Rico, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

On January 13th, the United States heard oral arguments in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle. The question that the Court must decide is whether the federal government and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. This essay argues that the Supreme Court cannot answer this question in the affirmative without overturning precedent holding that the U.S. government can unilaterally impose the Federal Death Penalty Act in Puerto Rico. In other words, the Court cannot deprive Puerto Rican citizens of the protection of the Double Jeopardy Clause unless it adopts the concept of popular sovereignty.



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Fascinating glimpse into the notion of dual sovereignty in the United States and the limits placed on a territory. It prompted me to look more into the status of provinces and territories in Canada (in modern constitutional theory, provinces are considered to be co-sovereign divisions, whereas the territories are part of the federal realm). So, as with many of your posts, your essay was enlightening in a way you perhaps did not expect. Thank you.

Posted by: streetwriter | Apr 13, 2016 5:48:50 AM

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