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Statutory Interpretation – Armed Career Criminal Act – Violent Felony

United States Supreme Court

Case Name: Charles Borden, Jr., United States

Case No.: 19-5410

Focus: Statutory Interpretation – Armed Career Criminal Act – Violent Felony

The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U. S. C. §924(e), mandates a 15-year minimum sentence for persons found guilty of illegally possessing a gun who have three or more prior convictions for a “violent felony.” The question here is whether a criminal offense can count as a “violent felony” if it requires only a mens rea of recklessness—a less culpable mental state than purpose or knowledge. We hold that a reckless offense cannot so qualify.

Reversed and remanded

Dissenting: KAVANAUGH, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., ALITO, and BARRETT, JJ., joined.

Concurring: THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.

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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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