Foreign aquitals and Double Jeapordy

In the United States our legal system has a concept called “Double Jeapordy”, in which , once a defendant is found not guilty, cannot be charged again for that defense.

What if an American is tried and aquitted in a foreign nation’s court?

Does an American court attach double jeapordy to a foreign ruling?

Except for most crimes, only one country or another has jurisdiction. If I murder someone in Norway, for instance, I can be tried for murder in Norway but not in the United States. No other country has jurisdiction to try me for the murder.

Of course, there are crimes that take place in several countries, like if I hired a hitman in Sweden who went to Norway to kill someone for me, and suchlike. And there are crimes against humanity like genocide that several countries have claimed jurisdiction over regardless of where they occur.

But for a simple crime that takes place entirely inside another country the United States has no jurisdiction.

I’d think it’d be the same as if you were acquitted in one state when you’ve committed crimes in more than one. The US has no jurisdiction over anything you do in another country, and probably couldn’t try you for anything you do there, even if you’re found guilty (though I suppose if it were a crime against a US citizen, it might be possible).

You can’t be tried for the crime in the other country, but if, say, you were a serial killer, you could be tried for any murders committed in the US.

No. The Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar reprosecution after acquittal by a separate sovereign.

On preview:

**Lemur866 ** is correct that they typical criminal case will only involve one State that has jurisdiction. Also, an acquittal in one country will usually prevent extradition for prosecution for the same crime under the relevant treaty.

The same set of facts might be the basis of crimes in several jurisdictions. For example, if a soldier serving in the US military killed a fellow soldier delibverately in a foreign country, that would be a crime (probably murder) in that country, and also be a crime under US military law. Suppose the other country’s police and justice system got hold of the soldier and tried him for the crime (perhaps with some protest by the US), and he was acquitted or convicted in the foreign judicial system. Would that prevent US courts later trying him for a crime arising out of the same facts? I suspect not.

No. Double Jeopardy means that the same sovereign cannot try you twice for the same act or acts. However, many service personnel who commit crimes overseas are tried and punished in those countries and subsequently convicted a second time by way of a US Courts Martial. Also you can be tried for the same acts under different Federal and State statutes. Also a crime like treason may take place totally outside of the jurisdiction of the US but it can still be prosecuted. Therfore if a US citizen sells guns to enemies of the united states in Afganistan and is prosecuted for it in Afganistan they can still be prosecuted for it in the US.
ETA: Damn I type too slow.

Even if done by a US citizen? I was under the impression that there were some crimes that US citizens could be tried for in the US, even if they took place entirely ouside the USA. (Sex tourism comes to mind.)

There are definitely some crimes that get double coverage.

Also, other countries extend jurisdiction more broadly with respect to their own citizens:

For example:

I’m not an expert or anything, but I know many countries have sex tourism laws that absolutely will try you in court for something that may, or may not be illegal in Thailand or wherever you are visiting at the time of commiting the act.

Efforts to encourage the destinations of sex tourists to tighten up their laws have, over the last few decades, made it pretty much certain that whatever is a “sex tourism” crime (and we’re generally talking about underage prostitutes in these case) in most industrialized countries is also illegal there.

I believe there are also a couple of other cases in which the United States asserts extra-territorial jurisdiction: companies that deal with Cuba and drug traffickers. I’m open to correction on the latter, but I know that a few years ago, several Canadian businessmen were threatened with arrest should they visit the United States because their companies did business with Cuba. Of course, there are also numerous cases of Central American drug lords sought and captured by U.S. authorities, but they are often guilty of conspiracy crimes that were committed on U.S. soil.