The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that American citizens may not be put on trial repeatedly for the same crime.
If a jury finds you innocent, the government can not turn around and re-try you again and again for the same crime.
Do you see the reason behind this? If the government can just keep putting a person on trial over and over until they finally get a jury who will convict, then they will eventually win every case. Under circumstances like that, there is no reason to have a trial at all.
It does not matter if lots of people watched a trial on tv and are angry about the outcome. It does not matter if the federal government meddled in what should should have been a state case in the first place. The verdict is the verdict is the verdict.
In recent decades, the Federal government has taken to meddling in cases where the jury chose not to convict by charging the defendant with some other crime that is related to the first charge but is federal, rather than local. Every time they have done this that I’ve seen what they are actually attempting is to overturn the first jury decision by putting the defendant on trial over and over until they finally convict him or her.
The Constitution protects us from being tried repeatedly for the same crime. What they are doing is using statutes that address different aspects of the same crime to try people and void our Constitutional rights to freedom from double jeopardy in court.
Let’s say someone robs a convenience store and you are put on trial for the robbery. Let’s further say that the jury find you not guilty. You are free to go.
Unless the federal government steps in and says that the theft of a bag of chips that was also taken during the commission of the robbery makes it a federal crime. After all, the chips were manufactured in one state and shipped to the store that was robbed in another state. Ergo, the crime is interstate, and federal. The feds then put on you trial in a federal court on the chip charge.
Is this putting you in double jeopardy? I think so. Does it violate your Constitutional rights? I believe it does.
I’ve read that the Justice Department of the United States Government is considering taking up the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case by charging Mr Zimmerman with federal aspects of this same crime for which he was found not guilty. I think this is because they don’t like the verdict the jury in Florida gave and want to, as a friend of mine said about an entirely different case, “try him until they fry him” on the Federal level.
Mr Zimmerman was tried in open court by a jury of his peers and found not guilty. The government had the opportunity to use all of its massive powers to formulate a presentation in court that would convince the jury to convict. They did not convince this jury. The jury has spoken, and their verdict is not guilty.
I think the Justice Department should accept the verdict.
From Huffington Post: