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Showing posts from November, 2013

After Descamps v. United States, Circuit Holds, Modified Categorical Approach Unaltered and Almendarez-Torres Undead

In United States v.Conrad Clinton Blair, No. 12-4427, the Court rejects an expansive reading of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013).Instead, the Circuit holds, a district court considering whether predicate offenses were committed on different occasions may rely on information in the charging and plea documents regardless of whether that information was integral to an element necessarily found in support of the prior convictions.

Conrad Blair pled guilty in 1991 to four counts of first-degree felony robbery in violation of Pennsylvania law.His conviction on each count was entered on the same day.In his subsequent federal prosecution, the issue was whether this record triggered a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).That sentence is required when the defendant has “three previous convictions … for a … violent felony … committed on occasions different from one another.”
Blair first…