The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being put in jeopardy more than once for the same offense. The Washington State Constitution also protects Washington criminal defendants from double jeopardy. Many people think of the double jeopardy doctrine as preventing a person from being charged with the same offense again after being acquitted, but it also provides protections in other circumstances. Double jeopardy protections prevent a defendant from being charged with the same offense again after being acquitted or convicted and from being punished for the same offense more than once. In a recent unpublished case, a defendant challenged her convictions on three counts of conspiracy to commit murder, arguing that the multiple conspiracy charges violated double jeopardy.
According to the appeals Court’s opinion, the defendant’s husband left her in 2019 after more than 25 years of marriage. He moved to his mother’s property and started dating another woman. A few months later that woman moved in with him.
According to the opinion, the defendant told a friend she wanted to kill her husband, his mother, and his new girlfriend. She told the friend she had been planning to do so. She said she would like for someone to make the murders appear to be a home invasion, but expressed that she would do it herself if necessary.