During this term, Denezpi v United States made the double jeopardy clause even more of a ■■■■■■■ joke than it was made by Gamble v United States in 2018.
My proposal is below, along with the text of the Fifth Amendment. All those words do three things. 1. Puts an end to the separate sovereigns and separate offenses loophole of the double jeopardy clause. 2. Puts an end to the O.J. scenario, where he was acquitted, yet later found liable. Essentially, a criminal acquittal would invoke the doctrine of estoppel, ending any separate civil actions if the defendant was acquitted in his criminal trial. It would also stop civil actions pending completion of criminal trials. 3. Let’s take the case of Dylan Roof. He faced a Federal trial for civil rights violations and a State trial for murder. If this amendment had been in place, the Federal Court would have tried the civil rights violations AND the State murder charges all at once. However, they could apply either the State penalties or the Federal penalties, but not both.
My hope would be to make the double jeopardy clause actually have real meaning.
Text of Fifth Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Section 1. No person shall be subject for offenses arising from the same action or set of actions to be twice put in jeopardy of criminal punishment of any type.
Section 2. The prohibition in Section 1 of this article of amendment shall apply to the same sovereign or any other sovereign under the jurisdiction of the United States, to include the United States, the several States, any territory or possession of the United States, the District constituting the seat of government of the United States and Indian Tribal Courts to include courts run by the United States.
Section 3. When a criminal act or series of criminal acts are committed within the jurisdiction of the United States that would be subject to prosecution for separate offenses by multiple sovereigns including violations of the civil rights laws of the United States, the United States shall notify the lesser sovereigns involved to suspend criminal proceedings until the United States makes a decision on whether to prosecute. If the United States shall decline to prosecute, it shall so notify the lesser sovereign. If the United States shall prosecute the offense, it shall have jurisdiction to prosecute any violation of the lesser sovereign’s statutes along with violations of the statutes of the United States. However, in sentencing, the United States shall only apply the heavier of either the United States criminal penalties or the lesser sovereign’s criminal penalties, but not both.
Section 4. When a defendant is facing civil proceedings and is in jeopardy of criminal proceedings arising from the same set of circumstances as the civil proceedings, the defendant shall be granted an abeyance of the civil proceedings until criminal proceedings have concluded. When a defendant is acquitted in criminal proceedings, all subsequent civil actions resulting from the same set of circumstances shall be forever estopped.