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New York Law Journal

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Double jeopardy issues arise regularly in the financial, banking and commodities industries where both civil and criminal statutes and penalties are used in successive prosecutions by federal and state governments to sanction the same conduct.

Recent Supreme Court and federal court decisions have established new standards for determining when civil fines and other civil penalties constitute “punishment” for purposes of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment.

These decisions indicate that where a civil penalty imposed by a federal or state actor bears no “rational relation” to any actual damages caused, the penalty will be characterized as punishment for purposes of the double jeopardy clause.


Reprinted with permission from the August 3, 1994 edition of the New York Law Journal© 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. – 877-257-3382 –



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