Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Resisting Arrest Is Crime of Violence Under ACCA

US v. Jenkins: Jenkins was convicted of drug distribution and being a felon in possession of a firearm, then sentenced as a career offender. One of his two prior qualifying offenses, according to the district court, was a 1998 conviction for the "Maryland common law offense of resisting arrest." In making that conclusion, the district court relied on a 2009 unpublished Fourth Circuit case, Mullen, which held that resisting arrest was a crime of violence under the Guidelines.

On appeal, Jenkins challenged his designation as a career offender, arguing that the older Fourth Circuit case upon which Mullen was based had been undermined by recent Supreme Court decisions dealing with "violent felonies" under the ACCA - Begay and Chambers. The Fourth Circuit disagreed, holding that resisting arrest is a crime of violence, even in light of Begay and Chambers, because it produces great risk of harm to others and can only be committed intentionally or purposely.

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