Types of Legal Cases
Given the legal system in the United States,
there are three distinct avenues for
against those responsible for the killing of Woody.
- a prosecution by the county or state of individuals involved
in the killing for criminal homicide, and possibly of
individuals involved in the training of the killers for criminal negligence.
- a prosecution by the U. S. Justice Department of individuals involved
in the killing for violations of the victim's civil liberties.
- a wrongful death lawsuit by the victim's family against
the shooters and the town of Brattleboro.
The first and second avenues are
in nature whereas the third is
These three avenues are independent insofar as the outcome of
in any one will not affect the disposition of either of the other two.
The prohibition against
enshrined in the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution
holds that one cannot be tried a second time for the same offense
one was convicted for or acquitted of.
This applies only to criminal cases, and does not
make prosecutions under the first and second avenues exclusive because
they are based on different offenses,
even though they stem from the same event.