- This is yet another felon-in-possession case involving yet another variation on the issue of whether a previous conviction qualifies as a “violent felony” for purposes of the enhanced penalties provided in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1).
- Rainer’s non-frivolous contention is that the district court erred when it decided at sentencing that he qualified for an enhanced sentence under the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), which applies to a defendant convicted under § 922(g) who has three previous convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses.
- The question is whether “building of Richie’s Shoe Store, Inc.”and “building of, to wit: Whiddon’s Gulf Service Station” in the indictments show that Rainer’s convictions were for burglary of a shoe store and service station, places that fall squarely within the scope of generic burglary.
- But a vehicle could not be used to carry on the business of a gasoline service station, which is mainly to dispense gasoline for sale. While a shoe store theoretically could be operated out of a vehicle, that possibility is too farfetched to undermine our conviction that Rainer’s two previous convictions were for burglary of a building in the generic burglary sense of the word.
- The ACCA is part of the real world, and courts should not refuse to apply it because of divorced-from-reality, law-school-professor-type hypotheticals that bear no resemblance to what actually goes on.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Judge Carnes on the Armed Career Criminal Act
Like him or not; agree with him or not; Judge Carnes is a gifted writer. From United States v. Rainer: