18 minutes ago
I had about 20 seconds to make this portrait of Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, then Acting Attorney General of the United States, happen. She was speaking on a panel about the Second Amendment in an era of mass shootings at @emorylaw , and during the discussion, the topic of Gamble v. United States came up. It’s a case that was awaiting a decision from #SCOTUS , and that decision was just announced earlier this week with a 7-2 majority (with the unlikely pair of Ginsberg and Gorsuch dissenting). While only a layperson, I’m fascinated with the rule of law and the complicated fabric it weaves, so hearing so many incredible panelists discuss the nuances of a topic like the Second Amendment and mass shootings (‘Murica) was an enthralling assignment.
The case involved Terance Martez Gamble, who was found to be in possession of a gun during a traffic stop in 2015. He had a previous felony conviction, which made his firearm possession illegal under Alabama law, but also under federal laws. He was convicted for this possession under Alabama law and sentenced to one year. He was also prosecuted under federal laws, with the district court concluding that double jeopardy did not apply so he could be tried. Gamble appealed, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision. The SCOTUS decision this week also affirmed the lower court’s decision.
While I’m not surprised by the SCOTUS decision, I’m curious to see what will happens with future challenges to double jeopardy. The lines to decide who is and is not prosecuted by the federal government for gun offenses are incredibly blurry, and unsurprisingly, tend to negatively impact people of color far more often than white offenders.