Under the Federal Armed Occupational Criminal Law, there is no strengthening of sentencing for reckless convictions

Under the Federal Armed Occupational Criminal Law, there is no strengthening of sentencing for reckless convictions


Opinion analysis

in Boden v. United States, The Supreme Court analyzed Armed Professional Crime ActThe force clause or element clause. According to ACCA, a person convicted of three violent felony counts and then convicted for possession of a firearm will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. In this case, the court must decide whether the term “violent felony” includes crimes committed with recklessness.

in a Decide On June 10, the five judges agreed that according to ACCA, reckless crime is not counted as a “violent felony”, but they made this decision with different reasoning. Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion of the four justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gossac ( Justice Neil Gorsuch also joined this opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas only wrote a personal opinion in the judgment. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion, and Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Corny Barrett joined.

The case was submitted to the court after Charles Borden Jr. admitted to violating federal law prohibiting a felony from owning a firearm. When sentencing, the government sought improvements based on ACCA; it claimed that Boden’s three previous felony convictions were violent felonies. Boden objected. He asserted that one of the felonies cited by the government included recklessness and was therefore not a violent felony.In Boden’s view, ACCA needs a higher culpability mentality, or Patriarchal, Than reckless. The district court ruled for the government, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed.

For plural writing, Kagan defines four mental states related to element clause analysis, in the order of decreasing guilt.A kind Patriarchal The purpose is equivalent to the consciously desired result. To show informed behavior, it is necessary to prove that the person knows that something will happen due to their behavior. Recklessness means that a person consciously ignores major and unreasonable risks and seriously deviates from the norm. Finally, acts of negligence occur when a person should be aware of but not aware of the significant and unreasonable risk of serious deviation from accepted standards.

According to ACCA, a violent felony is a felony that “uses, attempts to use, or threatens to use force against another person as an element”.Kagan reviewed the analysis in her majority opinion Leokal V. Ashcroft with Voisine v. United States Decide whether a criminal offence involving recklessness can be classified as a violent felony.

in LeokalIn a case in 2004, the court analyzed the “violent crime” statute similar to the ACCA element clause and found that negligent conduct was excluded from the term. Kagan explained that in doing so, the court focused on the wording “against the person or property of another person” in order to discover that Congress intends to punish higher guilt than negligence.

in neighborIn a 2016 case, the court held that “misdemeanor of domestic violence” included crimes with a reckless mental state.Kagan emphasized that the relevant laws and regulations neighbor Does not include those applicable to ACCA and LeokalIn the absence of such language, the court focused on the word “use” in the “use or attempt to use force” in the statute prohibiting persons convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms. In doing so, the court concluded that the use of force by someone was sufficient to count as a misdemeanor of domestic violence.

In reconciling these two situations, Kagan explained that the combination of “against others” language and the term “use of force” requires actions directed at the other person. These two phrases together impose a higher degree of behavior than recklessness. Therefore, the reckless behavior does not comply with the targeted behavior that is necessary for the enhanced sentencing stipulated by ACCA.

After criticizing the arguments in Kavanaugh’s objection (discussed below) as illogical and infeasible, Kagan emphasized the background and purpose of ACCA’s element clauses. The purpose of enacting the law by Congress is to punish those who commit violent crimes and pose a danger to the public. Kagan believes that ACCA does not treat all crimes that a person may commit as violent felonies. Failure to do so will result in imposing mandatory minimum penalties for actions that are less dangerous than what Congress attempts to punish. Kagan warned that the court should not define violent felonies more extensively than Congress expected, which is the result if the court includes reckless crimes in the element clause.

In his consent, Thomas made it clear that he believes that Boden deserves a heavier sentence and that his previous felony was a violent felony. However, he explained that Borden’s previous reckless conviction does not apply under ACCA’s element clauses. Thomas will find that recklessness is not applicable through the language of “use of force.” He believes that the clause requires deliberate action.

Thomas argued that the government and courts tried to use element clauses too widely because the courts improperly invalidated the “catchall” part of ACCA, the remaining clause.in Johnson v. United StatesIn a 2015 case, the court reviewed the definition of a violent felony as “involving[d] Carry on the current[ed] The serious potential risk of causing personal injury to others”, and that the clause is unconstitutional and vague. He reasoned that the remaining clause would make the penalty applicable to Boden’s previous criminal convictions. Thomas believes that the court should overturn it. Johnson.

In his dissent, Kavanaugh emphasized that people facing mandatory minimum sentences must commit three felonies and own a gun. He repeatedly reminded most people that most state laws include reckless criminal liability, and Congress acted with this in mind when passing the ACCA element clause. In his dissent, Kavanaugh also criticized the imprecise analysis and choice of wording of pluralism.

Kavanaugh provided two reasons that the majority party’s decision was incorrect. First of all, he believes that the term “person who is directed at others”-the term most people hold means that violent felony requires targeted action-is an artistic term that has nothing to do with a person’s mentality. On the contrary, Congress uses “persons against others” only to distinguish other types of crimes, such as “crimes against property.” By including “persons against others,” Congress indicated the types of crimes that apply under ACCA.

The second reason Kavanaugh objected was that he believed that the ordinary meaning of the element clause included reckless behavior.After defining intentional/purposeful, knowing and reckless behavior, Kavanaugh clarified that the difference between recklessness and knowledge is “thin” and that recklessness is the accepted minimum. Patriarchal To pursue criminal responsibility. He went on to say that if Congress intends to rule out reckless behavior under ACCA, it will make it clear.

Next, Cavano questioned the analysis of complex numbers neighbor with LeokalHe noticed that the court clearly included language “against family relations” when describing the statute. neighbor, Even though most people now claim that the wording does not exist.For Kavanaugh, in neighbor Opinion means that the court understands that the ordinary meaning includes reckless behavior against someone.The meaning of the law neighbor Kavanaugh believes that even if the wording is different, ACCA is the same.

in spite of LeokalKavanaugh explained that the court’s analysis includes the legal language “against the person or property of another person” and the court only discusses whether the negligent act is a violent crime. Leokal He emphasized that it has not been determined whether recklessness applies.

Finally, Kavanaugh believes that the background and purpose of ACCA ensure that reckless behavior is included in the element clause. He pointed out that reckless assaults and reckless killings are violent crimes, and people should be punished if they have been convicted three times before. Kavanaugh seems to be worried that most people’s interpretation of ACCA stems from judges’ dissatisfaction with mandatory minimum standards.

Kavanaugh put an end to his dissent by listing the collateral consequences that he predicted the court decision will produce.He warned that ACCA will not punish serious violent crimes, including second-degree murder and manslaughter; attempts and threats will be included in ACCA, but unfinished reckless assaults and reckless homicides; if sentencing courts rely on them, people will seek them out Review of the verdict neighbor Including reckless crimes; people will be released from prison earlier than Congress expected; and those released early will have a higher crime rate than others.

Ultimately, holding Boden Because of the combination of Kagan’s majority decision and Thomas’s consent to the verdict, reckless crimes are now excluded from ACCA’s element clauses. However, the ACCA case in court is unlikely to end.Both Kagan’s diverse views and Kavanaugh’s objections seem to point the way for the future Patriarchal Court dispute: extremely reckless. Although Kagan reserved his judgment on the application of ACCA to the question of extreme recklessness, Kavanaugh clearly believed that ACCA contained this mentality.

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