Do prosecutors have any legal ability to do anything after a not guilty verdict?

Asked over 1 year ago - 32204

Why is it a person convicted of Murder can appeal but the state can not re-try them. I understand an appeal can only happen if there evidence to support an error or something done wrong in the first trial. However, does the prosecutor have any legal way of coming back after a not guilty verdict?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Will Murphy

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . The Constituion of the United States gives us all a right to not be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense. (Otherwise if prosecutors had it out for someone they could just keep trying an accused until they got a conviction.)

    There is no substitute for the professional advice of an attorney who knows your case and represents you. My post... more
  2. Philip Douglas Cave

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . The double jeopardy clause of the Constitution prohibits a retrial in the event of a not guilty verdict.
    In some instances the federal government might have jurisdiction to prosecute, and the double jeopardy clause wouldn't prevent that.

    www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your... more
  3. Clifford M. Miller

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Never in the US!

    This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client... more
  4. Stephen F Wallace

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . I found the most interesting article on this below. There are reprosecutions where jeopardy is continuing and not terminated. It is one of those things we take for granted defending these cases. So, to answer your question - do a little reading and see if the exceptions fit your situation above. Thanks for asking this question. It was very illuminating.

    Once jeopardy attaches, a dismissal granted by the court for insufficient evidence terminates jeopardy and bars further prosecution with one exception. The prosecution may appeal a dismissal entered after the jury has returned a guilty verdict. If the appellate court reverses the dismissal, the guilty verdict can be reinstated without necessitating a second trial. A dismissal granted for lack of evidence after a case has been submitted to a jury, but before a verdict has been reached, may not be appealed by the state.

    Reprosecution is permitted and jeopardy continues against the defendant when a case is dismissed by the court at the defendant's request for reasons other than sufficiency of the evidence. For example, courts may dismiss a case when the defendant's right to a speedy trial has been denied by prosecutorial pretrial delay. The Supreme Court has held that no double jeopardy interest is triggered when defendants obtain a dismissal for reasons unrelated to their guilt or innocence (see United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 98 S.Ct. 2187, 57 L.Ed.2d 65 [1978]).

    In cases of acquittal where there was evidence of jury or judge tampering, the verdict could be thrown out because the defendant was never in original jeopardy. that The only exception to an acquittal being final is if the defendant was never in jeopardy at all at trial. If a defendant bribes a judge and obtains acquittal as a result of a bench trial, the acquittal is not valid because the defendant was never in jeopardy in the first place. Harry Aleman v. Judges of the Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, et al., 138 F.3d 302 (1998).

  5. David Keith Greer

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . No. To appeal a not guilty verdict would place the defendant in double jeopardy, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    In Ohio, if the judge made an erroneous legal ruling during the trial, in extremely rare instances the prosecutor can take the extremely rare step of appealing the adverse legal ruling. However, the verdict itself cannot be appealed without placing the defendant twice in jeopardy.

    The defendant can be civilly sued, but that's it.

  6. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . No. Which is how it should be.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more
  7. Anthony Michael Solis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . The answer is because the Constitution bars double jeopardy. The government can try to prosecute on another theory, but that's likely going to be deemed a vindictive prosecution. The reality is that the Constitution protects us all from successive or vindictive prosecutions because the government doesn't and shouldn't have unchecked power to keep finding some way to imprison someone after not bringing proof beyond a reasonable doubt the first time.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... more

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