Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Who’s on First II: Virginia is for Prosecutors

A wise reader sent me an email noting a couple of things about my previous post. One, the federal government is not the only entity which has restrictions on prosecuting where other states have brought a prosecutorial action for the same offense: some states have similar requirements. This is true, but as the Heath case demonstrates, Alabama has demonstrated that it is willing to prosecute after another sovereign in order to vindicate its interests.

The second point made by the reader was that the suspects are in federal custody, rather than Maryland custody as I stated. Mea culpa. I still stand by my argument that whoever is holding the suspects will have a strong political incentive to prosecute them. That said, given the administration’s stance on federalism, and the fact that, notwithstanding the Hobbs Act, murder is more appropriately a local crime, the feds will likely look to dish them off to a state. If so, I must agree with the reader that Virginia is the likely recipient of the suspects, given their strong death penalty statute, which includes the death penalty for minors.

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