Double Jeopardy Ruling Sends “Alarming” Message: Kate Hamann Co-authors Article in Global Investigations Review

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Gamble v. United States, upholding the dual-sovereignty doctrine – under which two offenses are not the “same offense” for double jeopardy purposes if prosecuted by separate sovereigns.

In a 5-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court doubled down on the narrow construction of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment that provides protections during criminal proceedings. The Court relied on the “separate sovereigns” doctrine, which states that everyone living in the 50 states lives under two sovereigns, the state government and the federal government. Since each of these sovereigns has an independent interest in seeing its laws vindicated, prosecutions brought by two different governments will not be construed as pursuing the same offense, even if their elements and the facts on which they are based are identical, because the two charges came from separate sovereigns.

Pierce Atwood litigation partner Kathleen Hamann, a former FCPA prosecutor who also spent ten years at the State Department, co-authored this article with Timothy Malley, an international law scholar. Please click here to read the complete article as it appeared in the July 17, 2019 issue of Global Investigations Review.