United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
C. NORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on defendant Timothy Da'Shaun
Taylor's (“Taylor”) motion to compel the
discovery of various federal government documents relating to
the decision to prosecute him and motion to dismiss the
indictment as a violation of the Double Jeopardy clause. For
the reasons set forth below, the court denies defendant's
September 3, 2011, Taylor was involved in an armed robbery of
a McDonald's restaurant in Mount Pleasant, South
Carolina. He planned and conducted the robbery in conjunction
with Joseph Whiteside (“Whiteside”) and Deron
Moultrie (“Moultrie”). During the robbery,
Whiteside shot the manager of the McDonald's in the hand
and leg. Taylor drove the car to and from the McDonald's.
Taylor entered a guilty plea in state court. As a result of
their state court convictions, Whiteside was sentenced to 25
years in prison, Moultrie received a sentence of up to six
years under South Carolina's youth offender act, and
Taylor received a probationary sentence.
investigating Taylor's involvement in a separate crime
involving the 2009 disappearance of a teenager, the United
States learned of Taylor's 2011 armed robbery and pursued
a subsequent federal prosecution. In 2016, Whiteside was
indicted on the following federal charges related to the 2011
robbery: (1) conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery under 18
U.S.C. § 1951; (2) armed robbery under 18 U.S.C. §
1951(a) and 2; and (3) possession and discharge of a weapon
during a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §
Motion to Dismiss
moves to dismiss the indictment, claiming that this federal
prosecution is barred by: (1) the Double Jeopardy Clause; (2)
the Due Process Clause; (3) the Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Clause. See ECF No. 75. Each of these arguments is
without merit, and the motion is denied in full.
Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall be
“subject for the same offence to be twice put in
jeopardy of life and limb.” U.S. Const. amend. V.
clause does not prohibit successive prosecutions by separate
sovereigns-such as the federal government and the State of
South Carolina-arising out of the same acts:
Every citizen of the United States is also a citizen of a
State or territory. He may be said to owe allegiance to two
sovereigns, and may be liable to punishment for an infraction
of the laws of either. The same act may be an offence or
transgression of the laws of both.
Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U.S. 121, 131 (1959)
(quoting Moore v. Illinois, 55 U.S. 13, 20 (1852)).
Cooperation between prosecuting sovereigns does not violate
the Double Jeopardy clause.
contends that “the facts will reveal that the defendant
was previously prosecuted and convicted in state court for
substantially the same offense.” Def. Mot. 1. What
Taylor fails to recognize is that even if he had a state
court conviction for the identically defined offense as he is
now been indicted in federal court, courts have consistently
upheld successive prosecutions by state and federal
governments, recognizing the dual sovereignty exception to
the double jeopardy doctrine. See e.g., United
States v. Sewell, 252 F.3d 647 (2d Cir. 2001) (holding
that federal prosecution not barred by prior state
acquittal); United States v. Bell, 113 F.3d 1345,
1351 n. 6 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 984
(1997) (holding that federal prosecution not barred by prior
state acquittal); United States v. Montgomery, 262
F.3d 233, 238 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 122 S.Ct.
845 (2001) (holding that federal prosecution not barred by
prior state guilty plea); United States v. Ray, 238
F.3d 828, 835 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 532 U.S.
1045 (2001) (holding that federal prosecution not barred by
prior state conviction); United States v. Johnson,
169 F.3d 1092, 1095-96 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 528
U.S. 857 (1999) (same); United States v. Male
Juvenile, 280 F.3d 1008, 1021 (9th Cir. 2002) (holding
that federal prosecution not barred by prior tribal court
prosecution); United States v. Trammell, 133 F.3d
1343, 1349-50 (10th Cir. 1998) (holding that federal
prosecution not barred by prior state acquittal); United
States v. Holland, 985 F.Supp. 587, 594 (D. Md. 1997)
(holding that federal prosecution not barred by prior state
guilty plea based on same conduct).
extent that Taylor is inviting the court to use this case as
a vehicle to reexamine the dual sovereignty doctrine, the
court refuses that invitation. See United States v.
Barrett, 496 F.3d 1079, 1119 (10th Cir. 2007) (“To
the extent [the defendant] questions the continued viability
of the dual sovereignty doctrine . . . this court is bound to
follow [United States v. Lanza, 260 U.S. 377 (1922)]
. . . until such time as the Supreme Court overrules
it.”). As explained above, it is ...