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It has been answered here that using the separate sovereigns doctrine, the same person can be convicted (or at least tried) twice for the same offense or crime, in the United States. Is there another way to do that?

For example, say the circumstances surrounding a crime are blurred enough so that it's unsure whether it's a murder or an involuntary manslaughter. Let's assume the absence of dual jurisdictions.

Given that a murder and an involuntary manslaughter are two different offenses, could a jury be asked to adjudicate on both counts? Could it find the defendant guilty of both? Could the DA even accuse the defendant of both during the same trial? What about in different trials? And what about murder and attempted murder?

If the answer to the previous questions is no, why is it possible between murder and "conduct unbecoming of an officer of the military" (or something), as depicted in the movie A Few Good Men, or between murder and mutiny, as presented in this question, but not between these two specific crimes? Where do you draw the boundary? Is there a nominal criterion?

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Given that a murder and an involuntary manslaughter are two different offenses, could a jury be asked to adjudicate on both counts?

This happens routinely.

Could it find the defendant guilty of both?

Only for certain offenses. See lesser included offense.

Could the DA even accuse the defendant of both during the same trial?

Yes, which is how juries are asked to adjudicate multiple offenses as noted above.

What about in different trials?

All the crimes associated with a given act have to be tried at once. If you've been acquitted of murder in connection with one act, you can't subsequently be tried for involuntary manslaughter for the same act, nor vice versa.

And what about murder and attempted murder?

I don't think it's possible to be tried for an attempt when the crime has been successful; certainly, the opposite is true. But again, if the charges are based on the same act (i.e., we know you tried to kill the victim, and we know someone succeeded, but we don't know whether it was you) then the charges would have to be tried at the same time.

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    @Gouvernathor It might be possible, as part of the same extended act, to kill one victim and attempt to kill a different victim. In such a case both charges could be brought in the same trial, and the accused could be convicted on both. Similar a person could be charged with killing one victim and assaulting another. Consider a mass-shooting case, for example. May 11 at 16:00
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Perjury (in some cases)

If a defendant takes the stand and testifies that they didn’t do something, and is then acquitted, and it is then proven that they did do it, one method of circumvention is to charge the defendant with perjury (instead of retrying the original charge).

Sentencing for perjury is likely to be less severe than the potential original sentence, but nonetheless perjury can carry long sentences in many states.

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  • Additional elements would need to be proved to obtain a perjury conviction. Specifically, it would need to be proved that the accused knowingly lied under oath. In practice this is rarely if ever done. May 11 at 16:02

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