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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Facts of the Case 

Frank Palko had been charged with first-degree murder. He was convicted instead of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The state of Connecticut appealed and won a new trial; this time the court found Palko guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death.


Does Palko's second conviction violate the protection against double jeopardy guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment because this protection applies to the states by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause?

Decision: 8 votes for Connecticut, 1 vote(s) against
Legal provision: US Const. Amend 5 (double jeopardy); US Const. Amend 14

The Supreme Court upheld Palko's second conviction. In his majority opinion, Cardozo formulated principles that were to direct the Court's actions for the next three decades. He noted that some Bill of Rights guarantees--such as freedom of thought and speech--are fundamental, and that the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause absorbed these fundamental rights and applied them to the states. Protection against double jeopardy was not a fundamental right. Palko died in Connecticut's electric chair on April 12, 1938.

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PALKO v. CONNECTICUT. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 28 August 2015. <>.
PALKO v. CONNECTICUT, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 28, 2015).
"PALKO v. CONNECTICUT," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 28, 2015,