Friday, June 06, 2014

Courts Martial Are Convictions from "Any Court" for ACCA Purposes

US v. Grant: Grant was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition.  Based on two prior courts martial involving crimes of violence, he was designated as an armed career criminal and sentenced to 212 months imprisonment.

On appeal, Grant challenged his sentence, which the Fourth Circuit affirmed.  Using a 2005 Supreme Court decision that held foreign convictions don't constitute convictions from "any court," Grant argued that courts martial are sufficiently different from civilian courts that they should not be considered part of any court.  Relying largely on legislative history, the court concluded that whatever differences exist between the two doesn't override the reasons for enacting the ACCA in the first place.

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