Petite policy. The Department of Justice rule forbidding a federal prosecution after a previous state or federal prosecution based on the same acts unless (1) the prosecution has been approved by the Assistant Attorney General, (2) there is a substantial federal interest supporting the prosecution, (3) the previous prosecution failed to vindicate the federal interest, and (4) there is sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. United States Attorneys’ Manual § 9–2.031 (Sept. 1997); Petite v. United States, 361 U.S. 529, 80 S.Ct. 450 (1960). [Cases: Criminal Law  29.C.J.S. Criminal Law § 14; Larceny §§ 53–54.]

“(‘Petite Policy’) …. The purpose of this policy is to vindicate substantial federal interests through appropriate federal prosecutions, to protect persons charged with criminal conduct from the burdens associated with multiple prosecutions and punishments for substantially the same act(s) or transaction(s), to promote efficient utilization of Department resources, and to promote coordination and cooperation between federal and state prosecutors.” United States Attorneys’ Manual § 9-2.031 (Sept. 1997).

“In response to the Court’s continuing sensitivity to the fairness implications of the multiple prosecution power, the Justice Department adopted the policy of refusing to bring a federal prosecution following a state prosecution except when necessary to advance compelling interests of federal law enforcement. The Petite policy was designed to limit the exercise of the power to bring successive prosecutions for the same offense to situations comporting with the rationale for the existence of that power. Although not constitutionally mandated, this Executive policy serves to protect interests which, but for the ‘dual sovereignty’ principle inherent in our federal system, would be embraced by the Double Jeopardy Clause. In light of the parallel purposes of the Government’s Petite policy and the fundamental constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy, the federal courts should be receptive, not circumspect, when the Government seeks leave to implement that policy.” Rinaldi v. United States, 434 U.S. 22, 28–29, 98 S.Ct. 81, 85 (1977)(citation omitted).

[Blacks Law 8th]