Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Prison Disciplinary Proceeding, Following a Criminal Conviction for Same Misbehavior, Does Not Violate Double Jeopardy

Andre Porter v. Thomas A. Coughlin, III, et al., Docket No. 03-0273 (2d Cir. August 31, 2005) (Op. by Sotomayor): No new ground is broken in this opinion, which simply re-affirms the Second Circuit’s earlier decision in United States v. Hernandez-Fundora, 58 F.3d 802 (2d Cir. 1995), holding that a criminal prosecution and a prison disciplinary proceeding based on the same conduct do not implicate double jeopardy concerns. The prisoner here, Porter, argued that Hernandez-Fundora was no longer good law in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hudson v. United States, 522 U.S. 93 (1997), which adopted a somewhat different analysis for determining whether a subsequent sanction is to be deemed “criminal” or “civil” for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Circuit rejected Porter’s argument, finding that even under the Hudson mode of analysis, the sanction imposed for his violation of prison disciplinary rules (3 years in the SHU), based on the same conduct (possessing a knife in prison) underlying a criminal conviction (for which he received a 3 to 6 year sentence, consecutive to whatever sentence he was then serving), was not a “criminal punishment” for double jeopardy purposes.

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