Twice recently the Supreme Court has chastised the U.S. Department of Justice for extending criminal legislation beyond their logical application to be able to secure a conviction. Beyond their effects for specific defendants, these choices delivered a welcome message to prosecutors that they should never uproot a statute from the clear context in order to get their guy (or girl).
Often, nonetheless, prosecutors are aided within their overreach by regulations which can be therefore vaguely written it’s not clear precisely what conduct has been targeted. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard a challenge to 1 law that is such which permitted the federal government to determine unlawful control of the gun being a “violent felony” justifying an extended prison term.
The defendant that is exceedingly unattractive this situation, Samuel Johnson, is really a white supremacist from Minnesota whom pleaded bad in 2012 to being truly a felon in possession of the firearm. Beneath the Armed Career Criminal Act, he had been sentenced up to a prison that is 15-year because he had three previous “violent felonies” on his record. Johnson conceded that two of his past beliefs, for robbery and tried robbery, had been felonies that are violent. But he disputed the us government’s choice to classify a 3rd conviction, for possessing a short-barreled shotgun, being a “violent felony.”
The idea that the mere control of an firearm that is illegal a violent work defies the dictionary and common understanding, and Johnson initially argued — plausibly — it was maybe maybe not. But Monday’s arguments dedicated to a wider problem: perhaps the felony that is violent when you look at the Armed job Criminal Act ended up being unconstitutionally vague. The clear answer is obviously yes.
What the law states provides an inventory of crimes that qualify as violent felonies: burglary, arson, extortion or perhaps the usage of explosives. Read More
I want to let you know about and pay day loans Twice recently the Supreme Court has chastised the U.S. Department of Justice for extending criminal legislation beyond their logical application to be able to secure a conviction. Beyond their effects for specific defendants, these choices delivered a welcome message to prosecutors that they should […]Read More