Can Plea Bargain Decision (Not Before a Jury) Invoke Double Jeopardy ?
Justice Holmes stated in United States v. Oppenheimer (1916):
"Upon the merits the proposition of the Government is that the doctrine of res judicata does not exist for criminal cases except in the modified form of the Fifth Amendment that a person shall not be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; and the conclusion is drawn that a decision upon a plea in bar cannot prevent a second trial when the defendant never has been in jeopardy in the sense of being before a jury upon the facts of the offence charged.
It seems that the mere statement of the position should be its own answer. It cannot be that the safeguards of the person, so often and so rightly mentioned with solemn reverence, are less than those that protect from a liability in debt. . . . the safeguard provided by the Constitution against the gravest abuses has tended to give the impression that when it did not apply in terms, there was no other principle that could.
But the Fifth Amendment was not intended to do away with what in the civil law is a fundamental principle of justice, in order, when a person once has been acquitted on the merits, to enable the Government to prosecute that person a second time." (Oppenheimer, supra, 242 U.S. at pp. 87-88 37 S. Ct. at p. 69.)