- Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: March 2, 2020
- Case #: 19-5410
- Judge(s)/Court Below: 769 F. App'x 266 (6th Cir. 2019)
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner has a prior conviction of reckless aggravated assault. When Petitioner was subsequently convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, he was sentenced as a violent felon under the use of force clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i). Petitioner appealed, challenging the application of the ACCA to his prior offense. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s application of the ACCA to reckless aggravated assault, stating that it constitutes a violent felony under the use of force clause. Petitioner asks the Supreme Court to define the requisite mens rea for violent felonies under the use of force clause. Petitioner argues that the use of force clause applies only to the use of force “against the person of another,” United States v. Harper, 875 F.3d 329, 331 (6th Cir. 2017), thereby precluding a mens rea of recklessness because it requires a conscious desire to achieve a result. Petitioner draws attention to a circuit split regarding whether crimes with a mens rea of recklessness are sufficient to trigger the application of the ACCA. Petitioner argues that application of the ACCA’s mandatory minimum to crimes of recklessness is wholly dependent on the jurisdiction of the indictment and that arbitrary application of a statute with such serious impact on sentencing is intolerable. Petitioner urges the Court to resolve the circuit split and vacate the Sixth Circuit’s judgment.