Justice Building Blog, has an interesting item today, SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL. Here's the nub of it,
The Feds are scanning the calendars and investigating cases where clients plead guilty to Carrying a Concealed Firearm, many times for Credit Time Served or a withhold and probation. The Feds are then, after the plea in state court, indicting the defendant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, where the penalty is a 15 year (or as they say in Fed land- 180 month) minimum mandatory prison sentence.
It's kind of hard to defend a client in federal court to a charge he has already pled guilty to in State Court.
On the one hand, this isn't technically double jeopardy as the law understands it (the federal offense has an additional element — being a felon — so it's not the same offense, nor an included one). On the other hand, it probably is double jeopardy as the rest of the world understands it.
Rumpole proposes conditional pleas (or not pleading at all) as a workaround. One commentator suggests not carrying a gun if you are a convicted felon. Opinions as to whether the federal prosecutors are acting reasonably also seem divided. There is something about the surprise element of punishment for an offense that the offender could reasonably think is a closed and adjudicated matter which I find troubling. And I don't much like the duplication of effort. But otherwise this is no worse jurisprudentially than a lot of stuff we accept for good reason, including federal prosecution of civil rights violations when states bobble the treatment of the underlying criminal prosecution.