GRAFTON V. UNITED STATES, 206 U. S. 333 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Grafton v. United States, 206 U.S. 333 (1907)

Grafton v. United States

No. 358

Argued March 18, 19, 1907

Decided May 27, 1907

206 U.S. 333


The prohibition of double jeopardy is applicable to all criminal prosecutions in the Philippine Islands.

A person is not put in second jeopardy unless his prior acquittal or conviction was by a court having jurisdiction to try him for the offense charged.

The judgment of a court-martial having jurisdiction to try an officer or soldier for a crime is entitled to the same finality and conclusiveness as to the issues involved as the judgment of a civil court in cases within its jurisdiction is entitled to.

General courts-martial may take cognizance, under the 62d Article of War, of all crimes, not capital, committed against public law by an officer or soldier of the Army within the limits of the territory within which he is serving; and, while this jurisdiction is not exclusive, but only concurrent

Page 206 U. S. 334

with that of the civil court, if a court-martial first acquires jurisdiction, its judgment cannot be disregarded by the civil court for mere error, or for any reason not affecting the jurisdiction of the court rendering it.

The same acts constituting a crime against the United States cannot, after the acquittal or conviction of the accused in a court of competent jurisdiction, be made the basis of a second trial of the accused for that crime in the same or in another court, civil or military, of the same government.

Although the same act when committed in a state might constitute two distinct offenses, one against the United States and the other against the state, for both of which the accused might be tried, that rule does not apply to acts committed in the Philippine Islands. The government of a state does not derive its powers from the United States, while that of the Philippine Islands does owe its existence wholly to the United States.

A soldier in the army, having been acquitted of the crime of homicide, alleged to have been committed by him in the Philippine Islands, by a military court-martial of competent jurisdiction proceeding under authority of the United States, cannot be subsequently tried for the same offense in a civil court exercising authority in that territory.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 206 U. S. 340

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