United States v. James
Opinion Date: February 18, 2020
Judge: Catharina Haynes
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Louisiana offense of armed robbery qualifies as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). Defendant was sentenced as an armed career criminal after pleading guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. In Louisiana, armed robbery is "the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, while armed with a dangerous weapon." The court stated that elements of simple robbery are the same, except that they lack the dangerous-weapon element. In United States v. Brown, 437 F.3d 450, 452 (5th Cir. 2006), the court held that the Louisiana crime of simple robbery qualifies as a violent felony under the ACCA. The court rejected defendant's contention, under the rule of orderliness, that the Brown panel must have relied on the residual clause when it concluded that the use of force needed for robbery was the same as the use of force contemplated in the ACCA. Furthermore, subsequent precedent has supported, rather than overruled, Brown.
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