United States Supreme Court


Justices Unlikely To Upset Double Jeopardy Rule

December 07, 2018 - 5:07 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to preserve a constitutional rule that allows state and federal governments to prosecute someone for the same crime.

Several justices are saying in arguments Thursday that they are reluctant to upset the long-standing rule that provides an exception to the Constitution's ban on trying someone twice for the same offense.

The court is considering the case of federal prison inmate Terance Gamble. He was prosecuted by Alabama and the federal government for having a gun after an earlier conviction for robbery.

“It's somewhat rare it doesn't happen all that often and but the federal government says that it's important to do this they used a lot, for instance civil rights violations,” explained Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes.

A ruling for Gamble could have a spillover effect on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

For instance, Barnes explained, “for Manafort, if you got a presidential pardon, would that mean that the state of New York for instance couldn't file charges against him for violating their state laws on tax evasion?”

But, that issue did not come up at all in Thursday's arguments.