October 1, 1994 12:00 am

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Double Jeopardy

In Witte v. United States, 63 U.S.L.W. 4576 (June 14, 1995) (8-1), the Court rejected a defendant’s claim that he could not be prosecuted for cocaine possession when the same conduct was previously taken into account when determining his appropriate sentence, under the Sentencing Guidelines, for a prior marijuana conviction. As Justice O’Connor explained for the Court: “[C]onsideration of information about the defendant’s character and conduct at sentencing does not result in ‘punishment’ for any offense other than the one on which the defendant was convicted.” Id. at 4580. Thus, in the Court’s view, subsequent “punishment” for the same conduct does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause.

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