What is Jeopardy?
Trial Magazine (December 2012)
5 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2012 Last revised: 12 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2012
This article analyzes the 2012 case of Blueford v. Arkansas. Blueford was tried for murder for allegedly shaking his girlfriend’s baby to death. He claimed that it was an accident. He was tried for capital murder (death penalty waived), first degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. The jury was told to consider the charges in order of seriousness, beginning with capital murder, and not moving on to first degree murder until it had reached a conclusion on capital murder, etc. After a time the jury announced that it could not reach a verdict. The judge asked the status of the case and the foreman announced that they had unanimously agreed that it was not capital murder or first degree murder but were hung 9-3 for conviction on manslaughter. After further consideration they were still hung and the judge declared a mistrial under “manifest necessity” without further discussing the status of the negotiations. The Court held that it was OK to retry Blueford for capital and first degree murder because, despite the foreman’s announcement, there had been no final resolution of those charges.
Keywords: Double jeopardy, Manifest necessity
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