Many people in Silver Spring know that someone can’t be tried twice for the same thing. The principle of double jeopardy protects everyone in Maryland from multiple trials for the same actions, but double jeopardy does not prevent prosecutors from appealing a guilty verdict in order to get a harsher punishment.
Imagine being sentenced for a violent crime in Maryland and receiving a prison sentence. With the exception of an appeal on your part, you expect that you won’t be appearing before a judge again and certainly wouldn’t receive a more severe punishment, but that is just what has happened to one man who had previously been sentenced to 10 years in prison for using his Cadillac Escalade as a weapon.
The 33-year-old man has recently been re-sentenced, however, to a 17-year sentence after prosecutors appealed, saying the former punishment was too light. It is unclear why federal prosecutors targeted this man out for such serious punishment, but it could have been because he was accused of using his car as a weapon against United States Marshalls.
Prosecutors say that the man was evading arrest when he was spotted by federal marshals at a gas station. Instead of stopping, however, he used his car to break through a barricade of patrol cars. The man apparently tried to drive the wrong way on a one-way street before entering a freeway. As a pursuing officer approached his vehicle, he smashed into the patrol car, sending the officer off the roadway.
It is not clear if any law enforcement officers were injured in the accidents and it is difficult to understand just why federal prosecutors have done so much to increase the man’s prison sentence. What this story shows, however, is that anyone who believes he or she has been unfairly targeted by police or prosecutors for his or her alleged involvement with a violent crime needs to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Man who used Cadillac as weapon gets 17 years,” David Ibata, April 16, 2012