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1995-1996 Preview U.S. Sup. Ct. Cas. 325 (1995-1996)


A preview of two 1996 Supreme Court cases. In the first case, US v. Ursery, a convicted narcotics dealer filed a motion to dismiss his criminal sentence on the grounds that it had violated the double jeopardy clause because he had already received a civil forfeiture judgment for the same crime. The second case, US v. $405,089.23, involves a similar situation, with a convicted felon filing a motion to dismiss his civil forfeiture case on the grounds that he had received a criminal sentence for the same crime earlier. The article argues that the two cases are significant because the current status of double jeopardy jurisprudence is muddled. Federal circuit courts are divided over whether a criminal prosecution and a civil forfeiture action filed in separate proceedings but based on the same offense constitute a violation of the Double Jeopardy clause. The article concludes by noting that perhaps it is time for the Supreme Court to take a radical new approach to the subject.


Issue 7, April 4, 1996



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