Supreme Court weighs 'double jeopardy' dispute




  • In US
  • 2018-12-06 17:08:48Z
  • By By Lawrence Hurley
The exterior of the U.
The exterior of the U.  

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Thursday expressed skepticism about putting limits on criminal charges being brought against people for the same offenses by both federal and state prosecutors in a case involving an Alabama man charged with illegally possessing a gun.

Depending on how the court rules, the case that could have implications for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

The court appeared divided on non-ideological lines, but a majority seemed concerned about the practical implications of overturning longstanding precedent allowing for parallel state and federal prosecutions.

Some of the justices, including conservative Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch and liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appeared more worried about vindicating the individual rights of defendants.

Trump's other appointee to the nine-justice court, conservative Brett Kavanaugh, questioned whether there were strong enough arguments to justify ending the practice, saying that the lawyers for defendant Terance Gamble would have to show the precedent is "grievously wrong."

"Given the uncertainty over the history, can you clear that bar?" he asked Gamble's lawyer, Louis Chaiten.

The appeal brought by Gamble has no direct impact on the Mueller investigation but depending on how the court rules it could limit the ability of states to bring charges against anyone charged by Mueller who Trump might pardon.

Gamble, 29, was prosecuted in Alabama for possessing marijuana and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm after the vehicle he was driving in Mobile was stopped by police in 2015.

While those charges were pending, the federal government charged Gamble under a U.S. law that criminalizes the possession of a firearm by a felon.

Gamble challenged the federal prosecution, saying it violated his rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be free of "double jeopardy," which is the legal principle that people cannot be charged twice for the same offense. A ruling is due by the end of June.


(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Tom Brown)

COMMENTS

More Related News

New York puts Democrats a step closer to Trump tax returns
New York puts Democrats a step closer to Trump tax returns

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York lawmakers gave final passage to legislation Wednesday that would allow President Donald Trump's state tax returns to be released to congressional committees that have, so far, been barred from getting the president's federal filings.

Vocal Democrats pressing Pelosi as impeachment talk swells
Vocal Democrats pressing Pelosi as impeachment talk swells

More Democrats are calling - and more loudly - for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after his latest defiance of Congress by blocking his former White House lawyer from testifying. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, still favoring a more methodical approach, convened a meeting Wednesday

AG Barr says nationwide rulings are hampering Trump
AG Barr says nationwide rulings are hampering Trump's agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General William Barr is taking on another item from President Donald Trump's agenda, railing against judges who issue rulings blocking nationwide policies.

Hundreds gather at U.S. Supreme Court to protest state abortion bans as step backward
Hundreds gather at U.S. Supreme Court to protest state abortion bans as step backward

Many of the restrictions are intended to draw legal challenges, which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation's top court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. "We are not going to allow them to move our country backward," U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the two dozen Democrats running for president, told the crowd through a megaphone. The rally is one of scores scheduled for Tuesday around the country by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights group.

Judge sides with Congress over Trump in demands for records
Judge sides with Congress over Trump in demands for records

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge ruled against President Donald Trump on Monday in a financial records dispute with Congress and said lawmakers should get the documents they have subpoenaed. Trump called it a "crazy" decision that his lawyers would appeal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.