Brief Fact Summary. Petitioner, Heath, sought a writ of certiorari after being convicted in Alabama on charges that he had already been convicted of in Georgia.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Successive prosecutions are barred by the Double Jeopardy clause only if the two offenses for which the defendant is prosecuted are actually the same offense.
The basis for this doctrine is that prosecutions under the laws of separate sovereigns do not, in the language of the Fifth Amendment, subject the defendant for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the dual sovereignty doctrine, which allows states separate prosecutions, is barred by double jeopardy.
Held. Successive prosecutions by two states for the same conduct are not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Dissent. Justice Marshall, in his dissent, points out that sovereignty should be overruled when it infringes on a defendant’s constitutional right against Double Jeopardy.
Discussion. Because two states derive their power to prosecute from separate sources of authority, there is no subsequent prosecution by one state, and therefore no Double Jeopardy.