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Double Jeopardy Clause Research Paper

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Prior convictions are a well-accepted sentencing factor in today’s sentencing systems. But the acceptance of the practice does make it constitutional. The Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits multiple punishments for a single offense, and this prohibition restricts the government’s ability to enhance criminal sentences based on an offender’s prior conviction. The current trend of conceptualizing Double Jeopardy Clause as providing robust limits only on multiple prosecutions, as opposed to multiple punishments, neglects the animating reason for the Clause: to prevent the government from having multiple opportunities to impose punishments on an individual. Prohibiting multiple prosecutions is a poor tool for achieving that goal in today’s legal system.
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