"SCOTUS: Once a jury acquits someone of a crime, that's it," South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

Posted On April 11, 2024

In an article published in the April 2024 issue of South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Greenville attorney Christopher D. Scalzo summarizes a recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that takes a closer look at the “Double Jeopardy Clause.” The February unanimous SCOTUS decision in McElrath v. Georgia ruled that once a jury acquits an individual at trial, even if it simultaneously issues an inconsistent guilty verdict, the Double Jeopardy Clause prevents the government from retrying the person for the acquitted charge.

Scalzo provides background on the case, which involved the tragic death of a mother at the hands of her 18-year-old son, who also suffered from mental health challenges.

In reviewing the case and SCOTUS’ position, Scalzo says that the case “reminds us the Double Jeopardy Clause is not focused on protecting the government’s case or on its ability to get a conviction; it is there to protect the jury’s decision that the governed have determined the government has not sufficiently proven its case, and a fellow citizen is therefore not guilty.”

Chris’ complete article is in the April digital edition of the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, available online here.