THIS DAY AT LAW
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Supreme Court ruled failure to report to prison not a 'violent felony'

On January 13, 2009, the US Supreme Court ruled in Chambers v. United States that failure to report to prison did not constitute a "violent felony" for purposes of sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminals Act (ACCA) [18 USC § 924(e)]. Petitioner Deondery Chambers pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing, the state of Illinois argued that he was subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence under the ACCA, based in part on a prior conviction for escape when he failed to report to prison. The ruling reversed the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and resolved a circuit split on the issue with the Ninth and DC Circuits having held that failure to report is not a violent felony and the other 10 circuits having held that it is.



Learn more about oral arguments in Chambers v. United States and the Supreme Court from the JURIST news archive.




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