double jeopardy


Definition of double jeopardy

1 : the putting of a person on trial for an offense for which he or she has previously been put on trial under a valid charge : two adjudications for one offense
2 : considerable danger or trouble from two sources

Examples of double jeopardy in a Sentence

constitutional protections against double jeopardy

Recent Examples on the Web

The Constitution is commonly said to protect Americans from double jeopardy — that is, being tried twice for the same crime. David G. Savage,, "Sometimes, you can be tried twice for the same crime, Supreme Court rules," 17 June 2019 The case decided Monday drew the court’s attention after Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas wrote in 2016 that the exception to protection from double jeopardy should be reconsidered. Mark Sherman,, "Supreme Court upholds rule allowing state, federal charges for same crime," 17 June 2019 Marche’s lawyer, Kevin Spellacy, argued in court Thursday that bringing felony charges against Marche would amount to double jeopardy because he was already charged in municipal court. Cory Shaffer,, "Activists allege dozens of East Cleveland’s police officers were not compliant with training, seek criminal charges," 23 Aug. 2019 But the Trump administration said the longstanding double jeopardy rule allows states and the federal government to pursue distinct interests without interfering with each other. NBC News, "Supreme Court declines to change double jeopardy rule in a case with Manafort implications," 17 June 2019 Though some have speculated that the new charges could constitute double jeopardy, the Washington Post reports that prosecutors are not worried about that. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What We Know So Far About Jeffrey Epstein's Sex Trafficking Case," 11 July 2019 As a result, his constitutional protection against double jeopardy does not apply. Jim Mustian, Twin Cities, "Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein charged with molesting dozens of girls," 8 July 2019 But the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has expressed confidence that an exception to double jeopardy rules will apply in this case, and that his office will prevail on the question. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to N.Y. Charges Designed to Thwart a Trump Pardon," 27 June 2019 The legislation, supported by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, revises the local double jeopardy law to protect the state’s ongoing investigations into the Republican president and his associates. Tom Hays, USA TODAY, "Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort could be held in Rikers Island, sources say," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'double jeopardy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of double jeopardy

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about double jeopardy

Statistics for double jeopardy

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for double jeopardy

The first known use of double jeopardy was in 1862

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for double jeopardy

double jeopardy


English Language Learners Definition of double jeopardy

US, law : the act of causing a person to be put on trial two times for the same crime

double jeopardy


Legal Definition of double jeopardy

: the prosecution of a person for an offense for which he or she has already been prosecuted — see also jeopardy — compare merger sense 3

Note: The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that no person shall “be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” The double jeopardy clause bars second prosecutions after either acquittal or conviction, and prohibits multiple punishments for the same offense.

More from Merriam-Webster on double jeopardy Encyclopedia article about double jeopardy

Comments on double jeopardy

What made you want to look up double jeopardy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!