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09-3680 U.S. v. Hudson

Firearms; drug trafficking

18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)’s “except” clause only applies when the minimum sentence “otherwise provided” is for the sec. 924(c) offense in question.

“§ 924(c)(1)(A)’s ‘except’ clause only applies when the minimum sentence ‘otherwise provided’ is ‘for the [§ 924(c)] offense in question.’ Abbott v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 18, 2010 WL 4569898, at *12 (2010) (quoting Easter, 553 F.3d at 526). The Court addressed the same argument Hudson advances, that § 924(c)(1)(A)’s terms plainly except mandating its minimum sentence when another provision of law mandates a longer minimum sentence. The Supreme Court unequivocally rejected that construction, holding that the ‘except’ clause—as a preceding and qualifying clause of the main clause that punishes the possession of a firearm— refers naturally to the conduct § 924(c) prohibits. The ‘except’ clause serves as a ‘no-stacking instruction for cases in which § 924(c) and a different statute both punish conduct offending § 924(c).’ Id. The Court noted that this reading gave effect to the provision’s language requiring that all § 924(c) offenders receive an extra punishment for using guns in crimes of violence or drug trafficking. Id. at *8.”


09-3680 U.S. v. Hudson

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Andersen, J., Tinder, J.

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