Why is the DOJ trying to punish Derek Chauvin twice?

[Ed. – Surely they can come up grounds for a third trial.]

A Minnesota jury last month convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of three murder and manslaughter charges for killing George Floyd on May 25, when Floyd died while he was pinned facedown to the pavement for nine and a half minutes. Today the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Chauvin for violating 18 USC 242 by depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights under color of law.

If it seems like the federal government is trying to punish Chauvin a second time for killing Floyd, that’s because it is. Under the controversial “dual sovereignty” doctrine, however, serial state and federal prosecutions for the same conduct do not violate the Fifth Amendment’s ban on double jeopardy. Even if you accept that premise, it is reasonable to ask what purpose a second prosecution serves and whether it is just to punish Chauvin twice.

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