Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Constitution of the United States: Amendment 5--Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings

Ratified 12/15/1791
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Query:
What is “double jeopardy,” and why is the phrase “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” so important to the U.S. judicial system?

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