Monday, May 09, 2011

Burglary of "Shop" In Virginia Triggers ACCA Enhancement

US v. Baxter: Baxter was convicted of being a felon in possession and was sentenced as an armed career criminal. Baxter argued that a 1976 Virginia conviction for burglarizing a "shop" was not a violent felony, within the meaning of ACCA. The district court disagreed. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the sentence. Relying on "the definitive construction" of the burglary statute from the Virginia Supreme Court, the court held that "shop" was not so vague as Baxter argued and that the "shop" was "affixed to the ground" and therefore fell within the generic definition of "burglary" found in Taylor v. US, 495 U.S. 575 (1990).

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