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Supreme Court Okays Double Jeopardy!!! 5th Amendment Violated! VIDEO

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posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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Again I must stress as a non- lawyer there's no assurance from
this side that a MISTRIAL is the same as an aquittal. But if indeed
the man was effectively and unanimously found not guilty of capital
or first degree murder, and there are two more items on the menu--
wouldn't it STILL be jeopardy of the defendant, at whatever decreased
peril?? I wish we could get a legal expert to weigh in on this one---
because I'm a little confused and more concerned about the rami-
fications of "falling back" onto a lesser onus in order to get what
seems like any kind of convict. And finally, did the high court just
rule it kosher for the judge to call a mistrial in order to keep the ball
in play?? Good grief what a mess: or is it just an old pragmatist/
machinist with no legal training getting paranoid? I vaccilate-- you decide.




posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy



Here is the actual Supreme Court case....instead of a third party twist on it.

Blueford v. Arkansas




Thanks for finding that.. i didnt find it doing my research. The first page openly states that the jury was

unanimous against guilt on the charges of capital murder and first-degree murder, but was deadlocked on manslaughter, and had not voted out negligent homicide


I know what you mean about the mistrial and such, it just seems that he shouldnt be tried with the capital and 1st degree again as the jury already deliberated and unanimously decided!



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by Nspekta
I know what you mean about the mistrial and such, it just seems that he shouldnt be tried with the capital and 1st degree again as the jury already deliberated and unanimously decided!


True, but the jury was instructed, under Arkansas State law and by the judge the following:


The court also presented the jury with a set of verdict forms, which allowed the jury either to convict Blueford of one of the charged offenses, or to acquit him of all of them. Acquitting on some but not others was not an option


The defendant and his appeal to the appellate court should have been against the state law and not the 5th Amendment in my opinion. Since there was no judgement made and the judge in the case declared mistrial, that should have been their focus.

I cannot knock the Supreme Court on this one since they examined it as the facts were presented; which were: A: The defendant was never convicted nor acquitted of any charges and B: There was a mistrial.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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For me, the winning argument was that the jury had not acquitted him, had not even rendered a verdict in the case. The majority argued that since the jury could, and did, go back for further deliberations they could have changed their minds and come out with a different position, so no final decision was reached. A mistrial could be declared in that situation.

To me it's a little like siting down in the showroom after agreeing to buy a car at a certain price with certain options. Until the contract is signed, nothing is definite. Here the jurors went back to talk it over some more. Nothing definite happened.

As far as stripping double jeopardy protections, the majority made sure that they weren't doing that. They pointed out that a declared mistrial has long been accepted as a reason for a second trial. The dissent agreed with this, they just thought that a mistrial shouldn't have been declared.

An ugly case, but I have to go with the majority.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 03:02 AM
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Originally posted by Nspekta


Agreed, but the point here is that the jury did declare him not guilty of the higher charges, it wasnt noted, and now he will be retried on those same charges he was already declared not guilty of by a jury. They couldnt make the higher charges stick, and the jury couldnt devide on the lesser charges. Shouldnt the retrial only include the lesser charges?


The answer to your question is no.

Consider the jury instructions very carefully.

“If you have a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt on the charge of capital murder, you will consider the charge of murder in the first degree. . . . If you have a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt on the charge of murder in the first degree, you will then consider the charge of manslaughter. . . . If you have a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt on the charge of manslaughter, you will then consider the charge of negligent homicide.””


Now the key to these instructions lies with the verdict forms which said

The court also presented the jury with a set of verdict forms, which allowed the jury either to convict Blueford of one of the charged offenses, or to acquit him of all of them. Acquitting on some but not others was not an option.


So as you can see, either he was to be found guilty on one of those charges as per the instructions I quoted- or he was to be acquitted on all charges. The Jury instructions via the verdict forms, does not allow for a "not guilty" verdict on the higher charges. It just allowed the Jury to consider a lesser charge- not acquit on the high charges.

The jury began going down the list of charges and eventually was deadlocked on a lesser charge. By the jury being deadlocked on a lesser charge an unable to reach a verdict, the Judge declared a mistrial.

Now this is common practice. When a jury is deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty- the Judge will declare a mistrial. Once a mistrial is declared, the Prosecution can the retry the case. Had the jury reached a verdict of not guilty on the lesser charges- then double jeopardy would be attached, but that did not happen here. The jury reached no verdict at all on the lesser charges, they were deadlocked.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
So as you can see, either he was to be found guilty on one of those charges as per the instructions I quoted- or he was to be acquitted on all charges. The Jury instructions via the verdict forms, does not allow for a "not guilty" verdict on the higher charges. It just allowed the Jury to consider a lesser charge- not acquit on the high charges.


This is where the article that the OP quoted and linked got hung up on. That is why in these cases it is always best to go to the source and see what the Supreme Court actually was ruling on; not just what people want us to think.

Most cases that people take issue with regarding the Supreme Court and their rulings can mostly fall back on their arguments during such. The defendant here tried to get his case dismissed because of the "double jeopardy" clause of the 5th Amendment -- when he should have took aim at the practice of the judges common instructions of convict/acquit all or none.

This would of course be a different discussion if he was in fact convicted or acquitted on any of the charges and then brought back up on charges after the fact. As we see from the brief, this isn't the case.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 03:41 AM
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Well I guess you should leave no witnesses behind when stealing a stick of gum now. Get rid of them all, and burn the store down and hunt the owners to death. Leave no evidence if you think your gonna get a jury because they will keep trying you until they get the result they like.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by THE_PROFESSIONAL
Well I guess you should leave no witnesses behind when stealing a stick of gum now. Get rid of them all, and burn the store down and hunt the owners to death. Leave no evidence if you think your gonna get a jury because they will keep trying you until they get the result they like.


What?! Maybe shed some light on what you are trying to connect or convey regarding this case....



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 03:48 AM
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reply to post by THE_PROFESSIONAL
 


they will keep trying you until they get the result they like.
I really don't see where you're getting this. As you can see from the opinion, there was a mistrial precisely because no result was obtained in this trial.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


Nothing I quoted comes from the article. What I quoted can be found in the Supreme Court's pdf which is linked in this thread. Here is the link again in case you missed it.

Blueford vs Arkansas PDF

Everything I quoted is actually on the first page, and as I read it- it makes perfect sense to me based on my understanding of the Law (which is really a bit of a hobby of mine). As you read further into the PDF, the assertion that the Jury found him not guilty of the higher offenses were specifically addressed, and again I have to say I agree completely with the Court's decision on this. You will just have to trust my word when I say if I suspected any kind of nonsense, twisting of the rule of law, or any kind of shannigans of any kind... I would have no problem speaking about it. Quiet frankly, I am a little shocked I am siding with the Court on this. In my opinion, they got it right.

Anyway- here is the text regarding the opinion that the high charges were acquitted by the Jury.


Blueford contends that the foreperson’s report that the jury was unanimous against guilt on the murder offense represented a resolution of some or all of the elements of those offenses in his favor. But the report was not a final resolution of anything. When the foreperson told the court how the jury had voted on each offense, the jury’s deliberations had not yet concluded. The jurors in fact went back to the jury room to deliberate further, and nothing in the court's instructions prohibited them from reconsidering their votes on capital and first-degree murder as deliberations continued. The foreperson’s report prior to the end of deliberations therefore lacked the finality necessary to amount to an acquittal on those offenses. That same lack of finality undermines Blueford’s reliance on Green v. United States, 355 U. S. 184, and Price v. Georgia, 398 U. S. 323. In both of those cases, the verdict of the jury was a final decision; here, the report of the foreperson was not


So even the court here is saying that mainly due to Jury instructions, there was no verdict. Looking at those instructions again, imagine the list of charges like rungs on a ladder. You start at the top, and if there is reasonable doubt on the top rung (Capital Murder), you take a step down and decide the next rung (first degree murder). According to the instructions you would continue in this manner until a decision is reached. In this a case, no decision was reached. This jury continued down the rungs of the ladder until they deadlocked at the bottom rungs.

Even Blueford's legal representation had conceded the point that declaring a mistrial under these circumstances is pretty text book. This comes from 2 (b) of the pdf.


Blueford acknowledges, however, that the trial court’s reason for declaring a mistrial here—that the jury was unable to reach a verdict - has long been considered the "classic basis" establishing necessity for doing so.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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They should amend the double jeapordy amendment to suit the BS times. Or get rid of the lesser charge crap. The way it is set up now sucks, you can be charged with murder, but with a safety net of manslaughter. That is stacking the odds up for the state. You should charge with what you think is appropriate, not shoot for the highest possible, and hope if you fail to prove the case, that your safety net will catch your ass. You don't prove your case, too damn bad, should have done a better job at assessing the charges.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by THE_PROFESSIONAL
Well I guess you should leave no witnesses behind when stealing a stick of gum now. Get rid of them all, and burn the store down and hunt the owners to death. Leave no evidence if you think your gonna get a jury because they will keep trying you until they get the result they like.


Come on man!

Did you even read anything regarding this case? The guy is claiming that a 20 month old baby climbed onto the bed he was sitting at, picked up a lit cigarette and waved it near his face. This scared him so much that he hit the 20 month old baby knocking him off the bed. The doctors in this case are claiming that the damage was so extensive that the story does not jive.

The man deserves his day in court.... and he got it. It was a mistrial. The lawyers even admit that a mistrial in this case is standard. Mistrial does not equal acquittal. If there is no acquittal.. there is no double jeopardy.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 04:38 AM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
They should amend the double jeapordy amendment to suit the BS times. Or get rid of the lesser charge crap. The way it is set up now sucks, you can be charged with murder, but with a safety net of manslaughter. That is stacking the odds up for the state. You should charge with what you think is appropriate, not shoot for the highest possible, and hope if you fail to prove the case, that your safety net will catch your ass. You don't prove your case, too damn bad, should have done a better job at assessing the charges.


I disagree completely with the standard of convicting on a lesser charge. Using this case as an example, what separates the higher charges from the lower charges is INTENT.

The doctors are saying that the child suffered so much trauma that it was deliberate and not accidental. If you listen to the defendant in this case, he admits to manslaughter. He is saying that he hit his kid, knocked him off the bed, causing the injuries which lead to his death. That's manslaughter and at the very least it is negligent homicide. If I were to punch you in the face causing you to fall down and strike your head on the ground which resulted in your death... I am guilty of manslaughter. However, if you can prove that when I hit you, my intention was for you to fall and hit your head.. that's murder. And this is the job of a jury. To take all the facts, and reach a conclusion. Giving a jury the option to convict on a lesser charge empowers the jury. They may not believe you intended to kill, but they may find that you are still responsible for that death.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by Nspekta
 


It has nothing to do with double jeopardy. The argument against double jeopardy is valid since the first trial resulted in a mistrial. It is irrelevant how the jury voted on the first 2 charges.

This can be recently viewed with the John Edwards trial as well, where he was found not guilty on one charge and the jury could not reach a decision on the other charges. It resulted in a mistrial and the DOJ has the option, as this prosecutor does, to refile charges and start the process all over again.

Mistrial


mistrial n. the termination of a trial before its normal conclusion because of a procedural error, statements by a witness, judge or attorney which prejudice a jury, a deadlock by a jury without reaching a verdict after lengthy deliberation (a "hung" jury), or the failure to complete a trial within the time set by the court. When such situations arise, the judge, either on his own initiative or upon the motion (request) of one of the parties will "declare a mistrial," dismiss the jury if there is one, and direct that the lawsuit or criminal prosecution be set for trial again, starting from the beginning. (See: trial)


What can trigger a mistrial?
Improper actions by the defense, prosecution or the judge, or by jurors through improper contact / discussion or actions. However, when a mistrial occurs because of a jury deadlock -

A judge may declare a mistrial for several reasons, including lack of jurisdiction, incorrect jury selection, or a deadlocked, or hung, jury. A deadlocked jury—where the jurors cannot agree over the defendant's guilt or innocence—is a common reason for declaring a mistrial.


The defendant was charged with multiple crimes and the jury was not able to reach a decision on all of them.

This is a move by the defense in an effort to zealously represent their client, however in the end even the lawyers knew what the outcome was going to be. In trials its all or nothing, not partial votes on some charges and no agreement on the others.

In case people forgot criminal trials require unanimous agreement on the charges. No where does it state unanimous on some and a quivering mass of indecision on others.

In this case there is no double jeopardy implications.
edit on 5-6-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 


I disagree. The way it is now, we allow people like Angela Corey to use their important job to grandstand and make a name for themselves. It's a spit in the face of the law. There should be no safety net, overcharging should be punished by a defeat. That should make prosecutors think twice about what they think they can prove, and curb overcharging. If they cannot prove the intent, then the charge should be manslaughter, not murder with a safety net of manslaughter. I don't think it is right in any sense of the word to gamble with years of someone's life in order to make a name for yourself or climb the political ladder.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 08:28 AM
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Did I read that one of the reasons for retrial was that the jury said they decided they would not convict on capital murder and the judge did not write that down so there is no record of that??
Did they not have a stenographer in the room? Can't they go over the transcripts and see where the jury foreman made that statement?


It would seem to me that if the jury was deadlocked on the other charges they could re-try on those charges but NOT on the capital murder charge.

IMO



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 09:37 AM
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You know, this sucks. Its horrible story. But a verdict, and a mistrial are different conclusions. Mistrial allows for a retrial. I atleast always thought it that way. So even if the jury said, "ah, we dont think the highest charges will stick, but we still cannot make a ruling.." means they can retry you. If the jury had just given all not guilty verdicts, this wouldnt get retried. Sorry, but I may agree. Hopefully the next jury will make a final decision, that hopefully falls close to that of the first jury. I aint a lawyer, if I was id be in jail probably, all the time.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 09:58 AM
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Is everyone missing the point that the jury was deadlocked, and it was declared a mistrial?

If the jury came back with a not guilty verdict, there would have been no second trial.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 10:22 AM
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More importantly? I have the fricking Jepordy final answer song stuck in my head now.

Not cool.

I came on here to take a break from work, and now I have that song in my head writing questions to myself.

You guys are cruel.

Is this off topic?




posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by wevebeenassimilated
 

The idea that this case hinged on the judge not writing anything down is not quite right. My understanding is that the jury told the judge where they stood, then went back to think about it some more. That means that they could have changed their minds, the "game" was not over.

The jury didn't present a verdict and the judge declared a mistrial. It's a little bit like telling a pollster that you're definitely going to vote for Obama, then thinking about it some more and deciding to go with Paul when you actuallly pull the lever. The jury just never pulled the lever. Even if the judge had written it down you'd get the same result. Verdicts have to be prepared and signed by the jury, not the judge. They didn't present any verdicts.




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