Douglas v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: June 28, 2019
  • Case #: 18-7331
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 907 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2018)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally vague.

Petitioner was charged with conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, with a firearm in a crime of violence, violating 18 U.S.C. §1951(a) and §924(c)(1)(A)(ii). The district court denied a motion to dismiss by Petitioner, finding conspiracy qualified as a crime of violence under the “force clause”, and therefore did not address the vagueness of the “residual clause” defining “crime of violence” in §924(c)(3)(B). During this time, the Supreme Court decided Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), which extended the rule of State v Johnson (the “residual clause” of §924(e)(2)(B)(ii) ruled unconstitutionally vague) to the similarly worded “residual clause” of §16(b) finding it also unconstitutionally vague. Petitioner relied on both Johnson and Dimaya in his appeal and argues that the First Circuit’s findings on §924(c)(3)(B) are incorrect. The court noted that both the cases involved statutes dealing with prior convictions in subsequent proceedings, and the Supreme Court had not yet applied the categorical approach to sections defining offenses for pending prosecutions. Petitioner argues because the Supreme Court held §16(b) as void for vagueness under the Due Process clause, then so is §924(c)(3)(B) because they are identical. Petitioner argues that Supreme Court Precedent, legislative history, and the text and context of §924(c)(3)(B) requires categorical analysis. The petition was granted by the Supreme Court and summary disposition was issued in accordance with United States v. Davis, 588 U.S. ____ (2019). VACATED AND REMANDED 

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