Same Sovereign

courtmartialdefenselawyer280Double Jeopardy only applies to successive trials by the same sovereign.

  1. A single act that violates the laws of two separate sovereigns constitutes two separate crimes, and prosecution by each of the sovereigns does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. Heath v. Alabama , 474 U.S. 82, 88 (1985); United States v. Lanza , 260   U.S. 377 (1922).
  • Trial by a court-martial Court Martial Trial Practice Blog is barred by the UCMJ only if the accused has already been tried in federal court. United States v. Stokes , 12 M.J. 229, 231 (C.M.A. 1982).
    1. Note, however: each of the military services has established restrictions concerning trial by court-martial following a trial in a civilian state or foreign court for the same offense. See Major Charles L. Pritchard, Jr., The Pit and the Pendulum: Why the Military Must Change its Policy Regarding Successive State-Military Prosecutions , Army Lawyer, Nov. 2007, 18-19 (describing the policies of each military service).
      1. Army Policy (a) A person who has been tried in a civilian court may, but ordinarily will not, be tried by court-marital for the same act over which the civilian court has exercised jurisdiction. AR 27-10, Chapter 4-2 (b) Procedure (i) GCMCA may authorize disposition of a case under the UCMJ despite a previous trial if he personally determines that authorized administrative action alone is inadequate and punitive action is essential to maintain discipline in the command. AR 27-10, Chapter 4-3. (ii) Practice Tip: If this is the case, then the CG’s action should use the exact language found in AR 27-10.