provided that if the crime began in Alabama, it could be punished there, even if
the actual murder occurred elsewhere.
The defendant was convicted, again, and
given another life sentence.
The Supreme Court ruled that "successive prosecutions by two states for the
same conduct are not barred by the double jeopardy clause."
The Court explained
that the federal government is a "separate sovereign" from a state government. At
the same time, "the states are no less sovereign with respect to each other than
they are with respect to the federal government."
Each state, then, is an
independent sovereign entity.
The military is, of course, a part of the federal government. Consequently,
a soldier could be prosecuted by the military (Court-martialed) and also be
prosecuted by the state.
This would be a possibility, for example, if the crime
was committed on an area of concurrent jurisdiction. As we will see shortly, this
could also happen if the soldier committed the crime off post. DA policy, however,
is that "a person subject to the UCMJ who has been tried in a civilian court may,
but ordinarily will not be tried by court-martial or punished under Article 15,
UCMJ, for the same act over which the civilian court has exercised jurisdiction."
(AR 27-10, paragraph 4-2.)
When a soldier commits a crime on an exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction
area, the federal civilian authorities may also want to prosecute him (for a
violation of the U.S. Code). If the military also wants to prosecute the offender
at a court-martial, a conflict may result. Since both represent the same sovereign
(the U.S. federal government), they could not both prosecute him for the same
crime, as this would be a double jeopardy violation. To avoid possible conflicts
in the area there is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DOJ and DOD. This
MOU "established policy for the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense
with regard to the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters over which the
two departments have jurisdiction."
(AR 27-10, paragraph 2-7.)
Its goal is "to
encourage joint and coordinated investigative efforts."
As an example, crimes
involving bribery and conflict of interest involving military or civilian DOD
personnel will be referred to the FBI.
e. Proprietary jurisdiction. Here, the federal government "has not obtained
any measure of the state's legislative authority over the area."
(DA Pam 27-21,
The military, for example, may simply be using the area,
such as by renting space. As a general rule, the state has the power to prosecute
an offender for a violation of its law; state law applies, but federal law
generally does not.
Consequently, a civilian who commits a crime here would be
prosecuted by the state authorities, not by the federal government.
government would lack the authority to prosecute. Keeping mind that a soldier may
be prosecuted no matter where the crime has been committed; i.e., on post, or off
post. We will return to this concept shortly.
f. Federal crimes of nationwide applicability.
With respect to proprietary
jurisdiction areas, remember that the general rule is that state law applies, but