Brief Fact Summary. The defendants, Clifton Pearce (“Mr. Pearce”) and William Rice (“Mr. Rice”) (collectively referred to as the “defendants”), successfully overturned initial convictions only to be reconvicted with longer sentences without credit for time served.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Credit for time served must be applied under the double jeopardy provision of the United States Constitution (“Constitution”), and due process prohibits the imposition of a harsher sentence on a retrial.
Mr. Rice was convicted of four counts of second degree burglary, and he received a ten-year prison term. He also had three counts set aside, only to be reconvicted. He received a 25-year term from the retrial.
Whether the double jeopardy provision of the United States Constitution (“Constitution”) mandates the judge imposing the second sentence to give credit for time served?
Whether a judge can impose a more severe sentence upon reconviction?
The double jeopardy provision of the Constitution does mandate that credit for time served be applied to a reconviction sentence.
Due process dictates that a judge cannot impose a more severe sentence upon reconviction. The fact that a defendant was successful in overturning the first conviction cannot be a motivating factor for a judge to impose a harsher sentence. Also, the defendants may be apprehensive in appealing a decision if they fear retaliation from a judge.
The constitutional guarantee against multiple punishments for the same offense absolutely requires that punishment already exacted must be fully credited in imposing sentence upon a new conviction for the same offense.View Full Point of Law