Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy (1999)

19 corrected entries

(10 votes)

Correction: Jones actually says "Ruby" several times during their skirmish. I watched this scene on Netflix and both the spoken dialogue and the closed captions say "Ruby."


Corrected entry: Given the flimsy evidence of her husband's 'murder', (for a victim uttering his final words, he would not have been able to so state the exact coordinates of the boat). Any competent lawyer would have got her off. Also, her son Maddy then lives with daddy and his new girlfriend, aware that mummy is in prison for murdering him having visited her there. Surely he would have mentioned this to someone like his teacher etc?

Correction: After receiving the fake message, the police found her alone on the blood-covered boat with the murder weapon. That kind of evidence is hard to shake off. As for Matty, he may have visited her in prison but it's highly unlikely that he knows why she is there or even remembers at his age. Later, he reveals that his dad told him that she was dead. If she died in prison, that isn't something that he would likely want to tell teachers or classmates.


Corrected entry: In the scene on the car ferry, in the shot from the passenger's side, Tommy Lee Jones starts to handcuff Ashley Judd's left wrist to the car door handle, reaching across her body to do so. In the next shot, from the driver's side, he is handcuffing her right hand to the handle.

Correction: No, this is incorrect. Judd's hands are cuffed together while driving with Jones onto the ferry. Jones reaches across her body to release her left wrist from the cuff, so the left cuff is available to cuff her to the outside door handle of the car. Jones then tightens the cuff (which was fastened to Judd's left wrist) around the outside door handle. Judd's right wrist was always cuffed to the outside of the car throughout the scene, never her left.

Corrected entry: When Judd is being visited in jail by her best friend and son, you can see she is wearing her wedding band when she holds the phone receiver. Wedding bands/jewelry are not allowed to be worn by prisoners. (00:22:00)

Correction: Actually, prisoners are in fact allowed to wear wedding bands, as long as it is a band only. However, there are some restrictions as to what type. Each state may have their own guidelines.

Corrected entry: When Libby backs into Travis' blue cavalier with the truck, when it flips over on its top, you can see the cable used to flip it over.

Correction: I think I see what you mean but looking at the shape of it it's actually the rubber seal from around the window. Especially as the position of it wouldn't help roll the car in any way.

Correction: Plus Judd rammed the blue car twice (hard enough to flip it over), then she drives off without any damage to the front or rear of her old truck.

Corrected entry: When Libby says that she wants to buy a car, she asks the sales clerk to check her credit history as her friend Angela to see if she has enough credit. The credit guy says that the name is wrong, but nothing else. In the next scene we find out that Angela died four years ago. Wouldn't it show up on the computer that Angela is dead?

Correction: Not necessarily. Unless the death was reported to all credit bureaus, it is possible to still use the credit of someone deceased. Someone stole my grandmothers purse before she died and stole her identity getting credit cards and all types of things in her name. We were totally unaware of this until we were contacted about various unpaid bills about a year and a half later. We then had to prove that my grandmother was dead to all three major credit bureaus because if a creditor uses TransUnion, for instance, and we only contacted Experian, there is no way the death notice would get to the creditor.

Corrected entry: There's another problem with the can't-be-tried-twice-for-the-same-murder aspect: every crime that is prosecuted contains within it a specific description of where and when it occurred - i.e., she killed him at 1234 Anywhere Ave., at 9:30 p.m. or whatever. If she then kills him again somewhere else later on, it's a different crime and can be prosecuted as such. If I shoplift from Wal-Mart tomorrow, get caught and serve jail time for it, that doesn't mean I can go back anytime thereafter and shoplift some more because of the double jeopardy clause.

Rooster of Doom

Correction: This is already kind of covered in the corrections section, but anyway. You cannot be tried for killing the same person twice at different times. I'm convicted of killing John Doe in May 2004, but he isn't actually dead. They can't try me for killing him in May 2005, which I did. The first trial would be voided since the "victim" wasn't dead, then I would be tried. The analogy is all wrong. I shoplift from Wal-Mart today and the store/franchise doesn't disappear from the face of the Earth. Each time I shoplift from Wal-Mart, it is a new crime. Each time I kill a person, it is a new crime.


Corrected entry: The husband knows that his wife is in jail, knows she knows he faked his death, and must have suspected she will try to trace him when she is released. There is no hint that he kept an eye on her, or that he took any precautions in case she turned up, as she did.

Correction: To be fair, he probably was not informed that she was out on parole, so he would think she's still in jail. Murder tends to get a pretty hefty sentence...

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones are sitting in Tommy's car on the ferry, Tommy gets out of the car and takes his car keys with him. He then handcuffs Ashley to the car. Later, when Ashley is trying to escape, there is a shot of the keys hanging from the ignition. Ashley then uses them to start the car and eventually escape.

Correction: In this scene you never actually see Tommy Lee Jones take his car keys with him. You just assume so. But if you watch carefully he reaches into his right jacket pocket and takes out a single key that he uses to unlock and then lock the handcuffs.

Corrected entry: In the end of the movie, Tommy Lee Jones is shot in the back on his upper right shoulder, yet when he is on the stretcher, he has been shot in his upper left shoulder.

Correction: I just watched the movie on DVD and played the scene over twice. Tommy Lee Jones was shot in the left shoulder.

Corrected entry: The entire premise of the movie is that the wife can't be convicted a second time for killing her husband, because she was already convicted for his murder when he actually faked it. Each state is an independent sovereign, and as such could prosecute the wife for murder even if another state had already prosecuted for the same crime. The federal government is also an independent sovereignty and could prosecute as well.

Correction: All of this is true, but the movie's premise is legally flawed on an even more fundamental level. The Double Jeopardy clause prevents the state from prosecuting a second time for the same alleged offense, such that the second prosecution would be based on the exact same underlying facts and circumstances as the first one. So, the DJ clause would not prevent a second prosecution for murder of the same individual, but at a different point in time, any more than it would prevent a second prosecution, for example, of a thief who had stood trial five years ago for a previous robbery.

Correction: She checked it in her luggage. It is permitted to carry firearms on a plane as long as they are below the airplane and unloaded and they are declared.


Corrected entry: Miss Judd was traveling between cities on an airplane. How could she carry a gun with her?

Correction: I work for a major airline and guns can be carried as long as they are checked luggage and are loaded in the cargo pit of the aircraft.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Libby is knocked out in the cemetary, the bad guy puts her in a room with a coffin, yet in the next scene she wakes up in the coffin.

Correction: The scene cuts with the husband dragging Ashley Judd into the tomb, and closing the door behind him (presumably to ensure that he will not be seen). It can be assumed that he subsequently put her into the coffin, despite the fact that it is not shown on camera.

Corrected entry: Libby is in prison for 6 years. Her friend makes a birthday cake for Maddy's 8th birthday. So how is it that Matty is only 2 years old when she gets locked up?

Correction: Matty is 4 years old, not 2, when Libby is locked up.


Corrected entry: When Libby had to shoot her way out of the coffin, the shot would have been so loud that her hearing would have been poor for days, yet she was able to listen to the conversation in the room at the end from behind a heavy closed door.

Correction: Two gunshots would not impair her hearing for days. I was at a shooting range recently and my friend fired several rounds from a loud H&K .45 in a confined, indoor space while I had my ear protection off. In less than 30 minutes my hearing had returned to normal.

Corrected entry: The premise for the story is that Ashley Judd's husband fakes his death, frames her for it so she's sent to jail and gives her friend, the husband's secret lover, the money from his life insurance to take care of her son so the husband gets the son, the lover and the money. The problem? What kind of insurance company would pay out a life insurance policy when it's sole beneficiary has been convicted of murdering the policy holder to claim the money? Isn't that fairly concrete grounds to refuse the money and shouldn't the husband know this?

Correction: The policy may also have listed his son as a beneficiary in the case of certain events - the death of the surviving parent, or as happens here, a criminal conviction. Since the son is a minor, control of the money would most likely be shifted to a legal guardian, the wife's friend.

Corrected entry: With all the blood on the deck of the boat, I would have thought a good lawyer would have had it analysed, found it not to be her husbands, and therefore no case to answer.

Stephen O'Toole

Correction: Who said it wasn't his (at least part of it)? He thought this whole faked murder thing out pretty thoroughly after all.

Corrected entry: When Mattie is driving looking for her son there is a road marker with Route 74 South, only odd numbers routes use north and south, even numbered routes use east and west. (00:57:00)

Correction: It's not Route 74, it's Colorado State Highway 74, and it's a real sign. Colorado SH 74 does run north/south because it's a loop (although it doesn't make a complete loop). Coming off US-HWY 40, it runs west, then turns south. As it continues it goes east and ends at Colorado SH 8.


Factual error: Ashley Judd is convicted of murdering her husband for the insurance money and that would make it a first degree murder charge (first degree meaning she planned the murder). Because of that there is no way she would have been eligible for parole after just 6 or 7 years.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It's never stated that she was charged with 1st degree murder, nor that she killed her husband for the insurance money. It was only brought up in trial as motive. Nick's accident was ruled "wrongful death" and the fact she did get paroled further show she was never convicted of 1st degree murder.

And what about the phone call from prison the Libby makes to Angie, and Angie says she "was just about to call her" or she tried calling her like how the heck can you call someone in prison!?

More mistakes in Double Jeopardy

Question: How is Libby able to be out in the prison yard without wearing her prison uniform shirt and instead wearing a dark green tank top? This allowed in prison or what?


Answer: At that point she has been imprisoned for a few years. She had likely set up a good rapport with the guards over the years. She was likely on her best behavior, knowing that would be considered when her parole hearing came. Prisoners on good behavior are often afforded certain instances where some rules can be bended, which would be up to the discretion of the guards. Exercising was a routine for her that went on for years. If she wanted to run in a tank top, I'm sure that was of very little concern to the guards after a while.


More questions & answers from Double Jeopardy

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