- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: February 26, 2020
- Case #: 18-6662
- Judge(s)/Court Below: GINSBURG, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. KAVANAUGH, J., filed a concurring opinion.
- Full Text Opinion
The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) 18 U.S.C. §924(e), imposes a 15-year minimum sentence of imprisonment for defendants with prior “serious drug offense.” A state offense only qualifies as a serious drug offense if it involves the manufacture, distribution or possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or distribute it. See §924(e)(2)(A)(ii). Petitioner pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, but contested the basis for finding his previous convictions as serious drug offenses. The district court sentenced petitioner to 15 years, and Petitioner appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence, holding that a court does not need to use a categorical approach to compare elements of generic offenses, because the statute clearly states activities that the offense must involve. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 924(e)(2)(A)(ii) of the Armed Career Criminal Act requires that the state offense involve the conduct specified in the statute; the state offense need not match certain generic offenses. The Court further stated that Congress’ intent was to ensure consistent application of the ACCA to any offenders who engaged in certain conduct which is identified in the statute. AFFIRMED.