Washington Law Review


Lynn C. Hall


Historically, the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy has been triggered primarily in criminal prosecutions. It has not encompassed civil monetary penalties. In United States v. Halper, the Supreme Court expanded double jeopardy protection. The Court held that government imposition of a civil monetary penalty on a defendant who has been criminally convicted for the same offense is punishment to the extent that the penalty clearly exceeds compensation. The punitive portion of the civil penalty, according to the Court, is multiple punishment prohibited by the Double Jeopardy Clause. This Note examines Halper and its effect on legislatures, prosecutors, and courts. The Author concludes that the Court's application of double jeopardy protection effectively protects convicted defendants, but should be extended to protect acquitted defendants from punitive civil penalties.

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