R Kelly Gayle King interview: What is double jeopardy? Legal meaning EXPLAINED


In the first interview with the singer since the Surviving R Kelly documentary dropped. In a tirade, R Kelly told Gayle King he “didn’t do this stuff” and said he’s “fighting for his life”. He told Gayle on CBS This Morning that he’s “tired of all the lies”.


Kelly told King the allegations that bothered him the most included “that little girls trapped in a basement, helicopters over my house, trying to rescue someone who doesn’t need to be rescued because they’re not in my house”.

He went on: “Everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said something good. They was describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I made mistakes, but I’m not a devil.”

Kelly blamed “the power of social media” for spreading rumours about his alleged abuse and giving them traction.


“No. No. No,” he said when asked if he’d ever had sex with any minors, adding that his accusers were “absolutely” lying.

“I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive from these lies,” he said.

Becoming increasingly hysterical, he said: “How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all that I’ve been through in my way, way, past to hold somebody — that’s stupid.

“That’s stupid! Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to, love me if you want.

“But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through – ‘oh, right now I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don’t let them eat, don’t let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle!”

His “crazy past”, is a reference to the 2008 acquittal of child pornography charges that centred on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a minor.

Kelly said: “For one, I beat my case. When you beat something you beat it. You can’t double jeopardy me like that. It’s not fair.”

But as soon as he’d said it, experts in the law were quick to point out he might not have a full grasp of the subject.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for two Kelly accusers, responded to Kelly’s “double jeopardy” comment Tuesday on Twitter.

The attorney tweeted: “He fails to understand that it doesn’t matter ‘how long ago’ it happened.

“And he also has no clue as to how ‘double jeopardy’ works.”



The US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment contains a Double Jeopardy Clause, which says that no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

Basically, this protects individuals from being tried twice for the same crime following a valid acquittal or conviction.

For criminal defendants, this is a crucial constitutional right – but it is not quite so simple.

The law states that if a defendant was never previously in legal “jeopardy”, then subsequent prosecution is not prohibited.

For instance, if prosecutors take certain actions before jeopardy begins, or attaches, such as dismissing the indictment, nothing will prevent them from later trying the same person for the same offence.

Once an individual has been placed in legal jeopardy and the jeopardy has ended, the government cannot continue to pursue a prosecution against the person for the same crime, because this would violate the rule against double jeopardy.

Jeopardy will always end after a jury’s verdict of acquittal, and sometimes it also ends after certain other events, such as the trial judge’s declaration of a mistrial.

Finally, the double jeopardy rule applies to re-prosecution for the same offence, but what constitutes the same offence?

State and federal courts apply a multitude of tests to determine whether the same facts have already been litigated, whether the “actual evidence” has already been presented in court, whether all the alleged criminal acts were part of the “same transaction,” or whether the defendant is being prosecuted a second time for the “same conduct.”


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