United States v. Chandler

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 02-20-2014
  • Case #: 12-10331
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam: Circuit Judges Bybeem and Tashima; Senior District Judge Wood
  • Full Text Opinion

Conviction of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence is a 'crime of violence' for the purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Tavares Chandler pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The district court concluded that he had been convicted of three violent felonies and held that the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) thus required an increased sentence. Chandler was sentenced to 235 months in prison. A violent felony under the ACCA is “any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year... [that] is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” The panel used a two-pronged test from United States v. Mendez, which consisted of 1) whether the conduct encompassed by the elements of the offense in the ordinary case must present a serious potential risk of physical injury to another and 2) the state offense must be roughly similar, in kind as well as in degree of risk posed to those offenses enumerated at the beginning of the residual clause - burglary of a dwelling, arson, extortion and crimes involving explosives. The panel considered that the Supreme Court held that the second requirement should focus on whether the risk posed by the state offense “is comparable to that possessed by its closest analog among the enumerated offenses.” The Ninth Circuit held that a “conspiracy to commit a crime of violence is a ‘crime of violence’ under the substantial risk definition....” Chandler’s conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery was a crime of violence because it “categorically creates a substantial risk that physical force may be used.” The panel used the same framework from Mendez to determine that the convictions of robbery and second degree kidnapping were also sufficient to satisfy requirement of “violent felonies” sufficient to require an increased sentence for Chandler with three convictions of violent felonies. AFFIRMED

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