Thomas was convicted of 8 counts of witness tampering. He appeals arguing that his conduct should be treated as “one unit of prosecution for double jeopardy purposes.” The court ruled that to determine whether double jeopardy principles were violated where a defendant is convicted of many violations under the same statue, the court establishes which unit of prosecution the legislature intends as the punishable act.
Here, Thomas argues (and the dissent agrees) that the “unit of prosecution” is each individual witness. Here, Thomas’s attempts to change only one witnesses testimony, eight different times and he therefore argues that there exists only one unit of prosecution.
The majority disagrees and held that his convictions are properly separate and thus do not violate the double jeopardy clause. The majority basis its conclusion on the analysis that “the State does not argue that each telephone call supports a separate witness tampering charge in this case. The breaks in time, the method (multiple phone calls over multiple days), and differing and distinct manners in which Thomas attempted to induce [the witness] to testify falsely,” all support the eight separate attempts and subsequent convictions.