Double Jeopardy

In prosecutions of  kidnapping, general principles relating to double jeopardy are applicable.  Convictions for two counts of first-degree kidnapping do not violate the United States Constitution’s proscription against double jeopardy where the offenses involve two distinct statutory provisions which constitute separate offenses, even if the offenses are assumed to have arisen from the same transaction.  Since the offenses of kidnapping with bodily injury and murder are not the same crime, a prosecution for kidnapping with bodily injury is not barred under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Federal Constitution, even though the defendant has been convicted, in another county, for the murder of the kidnapping victim.

Consistent with double jeopardy principles, a defendant may not be separately punished for the offenses of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping where the rape is the sexual assault used to elevate kidnapping to first-degree kidnapping.  However, successive state and federal prosecutions for kidnapping did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause’s guarantee against a second prosecution, for the same offense, after acquittal.


Inside Double Jeopardy