Hmm. I heard of an incident in France once where somebody was convicted of murder, and was later found to have been convicted of murdering HIMSELF. The Los Angeles Police weren’t even in charge of the investigation.
Murder is a state crime, for the most part–unless everything took place in the same state, prosecuting for murder wouldn’t be a problem. There would also be assorted federal statutes that could be used, including the ever-popular violation of civil rights.
But…assuming the murder took place in the same state, and that we’re just talking state law (and that we ignore such things as conspiracy), there are two possibilities. A conviction for a crime includes what are called “lesser included offenses”–in the case of murder these would lesser classifications of murder/voluntary manslaughter (whatever the terms are in that particular jurisdiction). However, greater offenses are not included–thus a conviction for second degree murder would not preclude charges of first degree murder. (I haven’t seen the ads, so I don’t know where they’re going with it.) The other possibility would be holding that the first conviction was null from the beginning, on the grounds that the alleged crime never took place…but this would depend on the trial judge and the appelate judges buying it, which is iffy.
Regardless of what was used, I think there’d be a big problem with the jury–the facts would confuse hell out of everybody, and there’d be an urge to decide that the defendent had pre-paid for the privilege of offing the victim. A confused jury is likely to acquit, or at least be unable to convict–I’d say the murderer would have a pretty good chance of getting away with it.
AOL Instant Messenger: Hrttannl