Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Conspiracy Is "Violent Felony" Under ACCA

US v. White: White was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced as an Armed Career Criminal. The only issue on appeal was whether one of White's priors - a North Carolina conviction for conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon - qualifies as a "violent felony" for ACCA purposes. The Fourth Circuit concluded that it does.

White argued that because conspiracy in North Carolina does not have an overt act as an element, it failed to present the a degree of risk similar to the offenses listed in the definition of violent felony. The court disagreed, noting that a defendant must intend the conspiratorial agreement be carried out in order to be guilty of the offense. In addition, the conspiracy offense is similar in kind to the other enumerated offenses in the ACCA.

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