Double Jeopardy and Federal Prosecution After State Jury Acquittal

This Note argues that the rationale of the Supreme Court’s post-conviction cases cannot be extended to cases involving jury acquittal and that federal reprosecution after state jury acquittal violates the double jeopardy clause. One can give meaning to the clause, Part Iexplains, only by reference to its underlying constitutional values.Part II suggests that these values, while possibly compatible with federal prosecution after a state conviction, cannot countenance reprosecution after a jury acquittal. Part III proposes that courts determine whether such reprosecution is appropriate by applying the Blockhurger same offense standard: Two offenses are the same unless each requires proof of an element the other does not. Provided that federal jurisdiction is not the only distinct element in the federal offense, this standard accommodates both the federal interest in prosecution and the defendant’s double jeopardy interests.