Martin v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: October 7, 2019
  • Case #: 18-9185
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 703 F. App'x 866 (11th Cir. 2017)
  • Full Text Opinion

(1) Whether reasonable jurists could debate whether Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018) and Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015) invalidated the residual clause in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B). (2) Whether the residual clause in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally void for vagueness for the same reasons that this Court found 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) void for vagueness in Dimaya.

Petitioner was convicted on seven counts, including carrying a firearm in furtherance of a "crime of violence," in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 2255, arguing that his conviction was no longer valid following Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The district court denied the motion, relying on the Eleventh Circuit panel's decision in Ovalles v. United States, 861 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2017), which held that Johnson "did not apply to the residual clause found in § 924(c)(3)(B)." The Supreme Court, in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), held that § 16(b) was unconstitutionally vague and found the distinctions in Ovalles between § 16(b) and § 924(c)(3)(B) to be immaterial. The Eleventh Circuit reconvened en banc and rejected the "categorical approach" in analyzing § 924(c)(3)(B) that the Court had used for § 16(b). The court applied a "conduct-based approach" and found no constitutional vagueness. Petitioner asks the Court to resolve the circuit split as to whether the residual clause in § 924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally vague for the same reasons found for § 16(b) in Dimaya. The Court granted certiorari and issued an order to vacate the judgment and remand for consideration in light of United States v. Davis, 588 U. S. ___ (2019). VACATED and REMANDED.

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