Alabama Supreme Court Ruling Places Limits on Obscenity Charges

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a person can not be convicted on multiple times for a possessing a collection of obscene material, meaning that people can only be charged once for the crime of possessing materials deemed obscene.

The unanimous decision comes in the case of David A. Girard, a former public works officer for the city of Robertsdale, Alabama who was convicted on ten counts of possession of child pornography in 2001.

The obscene material was contained on a computer disc.

The decision upheld last year’s ruling by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals that struck down nine of the 10 convictions against David A. Girard of Baldwin County.

Attorney General Bill Pryor's office maintained that each obscene image is a different crime, but the Supreme Court said the possession of obscene material is one offense, "regardless of how many items are actually possessed," according to the Associated Press.

The decision won’t affect Girard’s time in jail – he was sentenced to ten concurrent sentences of three years in prison and five years on probation. One of the sentences still remains valid.