Law Quarterly

Double Jeopardy


In November of 2015 an Alabama motorist named Terance Gamble was pulled over by a police officer for a faulty headlight on his car and, after a search, the officer discovered a firearm in the vehicle. Under Federal and Alabama law it is illegal for a convicted felon to own firearms so Gamble, who was convicted of robbery in 2008, was sentenced to one year in prison for this charge by the state of Alabama. Concurrently with his prosecution by the State of Alabama, the U.S. federal government also charged Gamble with the same offense.(1) This second charge has sparked a highly controversial debate which has now made itself all the way up to the Supreme Court.