US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Castro
Opinion Date: March 17, 2022
Judge: Andrew S. Oldham
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing, withdrew its previous opinion, and substituted the following opinion.
The court vacated the certificate of appealability (COA) as invalid, as the parties concede, under 28 U.S.C. U.S.C. 2253(c)(2)–(3) because it fails to specify a constitutional issue. In this case, defendant seeks a valid COA under United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319 (2019). The court concluded that defendant was not sentenced under the residual clause in 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(3)(B). Rather, he was sentenced under the elements clause in 924(c)(3)(A). The court explained that defendant's indictment, his stipulated factual resume, and his plea agreement all confirm that he was convicted of and sentenced for putting the lives of his victims in jeopardy by using a handgun. The court concluded that this easily satisfies the elements clause and renders section 924(c)'s residual clause and Davis irrelevant. Because defendant has not made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, the court could not grant a COA and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
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