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Today the South Dakota Supreme Court handed down its decision in State v. Babcock. I was not trial counsel (that attorney did excellent work) but was appellate counsel. A jury convicted Babcock of two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of simple assault for attacking his former significant other, Sosa. Babcock appealed, alleging the circuit court erred by granting the State’s motion to exclude evidence of Sosa’s drug use. He also argued that his convictions for multiple counts of assault placed him in double jeopardy in violation of his constitutional rights.

The decisions reiterates the prohibition against double jeopardy contained in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article VI, Section 9, of the South Dakota Constitution. Specifically, the inability to be punished twice for the same act; duplicity or multiplicity of charges.

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