Supreme Court Declines to Change Double Jeopardy Rule - NBC4 Washington
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Supreme Court Declines to Change Double Jeopardy Rule

The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be "twice put in jeopardy of life or limb" for the same offense, but state and federal court are seen as "separate sovereigns"

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    In this Oct. 5, 2018, file photo, the U.S. Supreme Court building stands quietly before dawn in Washington.

    The Supreme Court declined on Monday to change the longstanding rule that says putting someone on trial more than once for the same crime does not violate the Constitution's protection against double jeopardy, NBC News reported.

    The case drew attention because of its possible implications for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

    The 7-2 ruling was a defeat for an Alabama man, Terance Gamble, convicted of robbery in 2008 and pulled over seven years later for a traffic violation. When police found a handgun in his car, he was prosecuted under Alabama's law barring felons from possessing firearms. The local U.S. attorney then charged Gamble with violating a similar federal law. Because of the added federal conviction, his prison sentence was extended by nearly three years.

    The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be "twice put in jeopardy of life or limb" for the same offense. But for more than 160 years, the Supreme Court has ruled that being prosecuted once by a state and again in federal court, or the other way around, for the same crime doesn't violate the protection against double jeopardy because the states and the federal government are "separate sovereigns."

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    (Published Friday, Sept. 14, 2018)