Although the mandatory Sentencing Guidelines operated to cabin the discretion of judges, just like sentencing statutes passed by Congress, a panel of our Court recently held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), which struck down the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), as unconstitutionally vague, does not apply to the identical residual clause of the mandatory career offender guideline, U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2) (2003). See In re Griffin, No. 16-12012, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 3002293 (11th Cir. May 25, 2016). The Griffin panel also concluded that, even if Johnson did apply to the residual clause of the mandatory career offender guideline, the Supreme Court’s decision in Welch v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1257 (2016)—which held that Johnson was retroactive to cases on collateral review—did not make Johnson retroactive in cases involving challenges to the Sentencing Guidelines. Although we are bound by Griffin, we write separately to explain why we believe Griffin is deeply flawed and wrongly decided.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
11th Circuit issues 3 judge concurrence
This opinion is interesting. Judges Jordan, Rosenbaum, and Jill Pryor denied a motion for a second habeas petition based on existing law in the 11th Circuit (which is way out of whack with the rest of the circuits). But then they issued a 3-judge concurrence saying that the existing law is wrong. From their joint concurrence: