United States v. Hodge

The Fourth Circuit reversed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255, holding that Appellant’s ACCA-enhanced sentence was unlawful where the sentencing court relied on three ACCA predicate convictions and one of those predicates was no longer valid. Appellant received a mandatory sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) based on three prior convictions. Appellant filed this motion to vacate his sentence arguing that one of his ACCA predicate convictions no longer qualified as an ACCA predicate in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). Assuming without deciding that the offense no longer qualified as an ACCA predicate, the district court found that another conviction listed in Appellant’s presentence investigation report but never designated as an ACCA predicate could replace the now-invalid predicate. The Fourth Circuit disagreed and remanded for resentencing, holding that the government may not use a conviction never before designated as an ACCA predicate to support an ACCA sentence enhancement on collateral review. View "United States v. Hodge" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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