Policy Considerations Underlying the Right Against Double Jeopardy

Five policy considerations underpin the right against double jeopardy, sometimes known as the right against former jeopardy: (1) preventing the government from employing its superior resources to wear down and erroneously convict innocent persons; (2) protecting individuals from the financial, emotional, and social consequences of successive prosecutions; (3) preserving the finality and integrity of criminal proceedings, which would be compromised were the government allowed to arbitrarily ignore unsatisfactory outcomes; (4) restricting prosecutorial discretion over the charging process; and (5) eliminating judicial discretion to impose cumulative punishments that are otherwise not clearly prohibited by law.


Inside Policy Considerations Underlying the Right Against Double Jeopardy