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Sovereign Impunity: Why Double Jeopardy Should Apply in Puerto Rico

9 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2016  

Colin Miller

University of South Carolina School of Law

Date Written: April 12, 2016

Abstract

On January 13th, the United States heard oral arguments in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle. The question that the Court must decide is whether the federal government and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. This essay argues that the Supreme Court cannot answer this question in the affirmative without overturning precedent holding that the U.S. government can unilaterally impose the Federal Death Penalty Act in Puerto Rico. In other words, the Court cannot deprive Puerto Rican citizens of the protection of the Double Jeopardy Clause unless it adopts the concept of popular sovereignty.

Keywords: Double Jeopardy, Death Penalty, Puerto Rico

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Miller, Colin, Sovereign Impunity: Why Double Jeopardy Should Apply in Puerto Rico (April 12, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2763559 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2763559

Colin Miller (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina School of Law ( email )

Main & Greene Streets
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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