1

Suppose person A murders person B and is charged and tried for premeditated murder. If the jury finds them innocent of that charge, can the prosecutor then try them for, say, voluntary manslaughter?

The murder part is just an example. I'm curious about the general case where someone allegedly committed multiple crimes in one act and was found innocent of one of them.

3
5

No, a later trial is not allowed

A prosecutor can, and often will charge multiple related crimes, and all will be addressed at the same trial. But once a person has been acquitted on a given set of events, the same jurisdiction cannot re-try the same person on what is often called a lesser included offense. Nor on a greater offense implied by the same events. Not even if additional evidence comes to light.

However, if an act (or set of acts) is a crime under both state law and Federal law, for example theft by deception (state crime) and wire fraud (federal crime) one jurisdiction may try the person even after ther has been an acquittal in the other.

I think the same rule applies if an act is a crime within the jurisdiction of two different states, that both can trey the accused.

In many cases prosecutors will choose not to bring the second trial, but they can if they see fit.

3
  • 1
    "I think the same rule applies if an act is a crime within the jurisdiction of two different states, that both can trey the accused." -- Correct. – cpast Apr 14 at 3:45
  • in fact, there's a spot that can give rise to 4 states and a tribe as well as the feds having jurisdiction – Trish Apr 14 at 7:31
  • @trish the actions of a crime may occur in more than one physical location, and so can involve multiple jurisdictions even if not near a border. – David Siegel Apr 14 at 13:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.