October 20th, 2017
Louisiana v. Frank
Opinion Date: October 18, 2017
Judge: Marcus R. Clark
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
The State charged defendant Skylar Frank, a former Oakdale police officer, with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, malfeasance in office, and obstruction of justice. The issue this case presented for review was whether the court of appeal erred in applying Louisiana’s jurisprudential “same evidence” test to find that defendant’s conviction for attempted felony carnal knowledge had to be set aside in light of his conviction for malfeasance in office, because it violated the prohibition against double jeopardy. Finding that no double jeopardy violation occurred, the Louisiana Supreme Court reinstated defendant’s conviction and sentence for attempted felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Furthermore, the Court found no significant difference between U.S. Const. Amend. V and La. Const. art. I, section 15 supporting the notion that Louisiana’s constitution afforded greater protection against double jeopardy than the federal constitution or required Louisiana courts to apply two distinct tests (one federal and one state) to analyze double jeopardy claims. Therefore, Louisiana courts are bound only to apply the standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932), to protect against double jeopardy and can dispense with Louisiana’s separate “same evidence” test.
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