ACLU now okay with double jeopardy

The ACLU has changed its long-held position opposing double jeopardy and now approves of it, at least in George Zimmerman’s case.

The ACLU saving grace was always its consistency. They didn’t care about the right to keep and bear arms, and they didn’t much care about religious freedom, but they were strong on free speech and the rights of criminal defendants, even when the target was unpopular (such as the KKK or the cops in the Rodney King beating). Without that consistency, the ACLU is just another liberal pressure group.

POSTSCRIPT: I’ve been reading a lot of commentators who have been saying that re-trying George Zimmerman on federal charges would not be double jeopardy. Saying so is an offense against the semantics of the English language. It may be true that courts have ruled that way (I’m not saying they have, I don’t know), but if so, it is their error and we ought not go along with it. According to the phrase’s plain meaning, it is double jeopardy when the government gets another try at a defendant after he is acquitted. It changes nothing that they are re-trying him in a different venue, or on slightly different charges stemming from the same incident.

(Previous post.)

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