Wooden, William D. v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: February 22, 2021
  • Case #: 20-5279
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 945 F.3d 498 (6th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

Did the Sixth Circuit err by expanding the score of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) in the absence of clear statutory definition with regard to the vague term "committed on occasions differed from one another"?

Petitioner was charged with being a “felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition” under 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 924(e). At sentencing, it was determined that Petitioner qualified as an Armed Career Criminal under 18 USC 924(e) because he had ten separate burglary convictions which had all occurred on the same date, including the same time, and all at the same location.  Petitioner appealed the district court’s finding that the burglary convictions were separate and the Sixth Circuit held that there was no definition of the expression “committed on occasions different from one another” but upheld Petitioner’s conviction under 18 USC 924(e) anyway. Petitioner argues that the lower court should have taken a narrow interpretation of the phrase “committed on occasions different from one another” because the demand is vague. Further, Petitioner argues that Justice Gorsuch’s view in United States v. Davis, et al, 588 U.S. ___ (2019) should control, that being, “a vague law is no law at all.” Thus, Petitioner maintains that the lower court erred by expanding the scope 18 USC 924(e) because the language is vague, meaning narrow construction is mandatory.

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