USA v. Kerstetter
Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Opinion Date: September 25, 2023
Judge: Per Curiam
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
Defendant pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. On appeal, he argued that a sentencing enhancement that requires certain prior convictions be for offenses committed on different occasions could not be applied unless the facts supporting it were charged in the indictment and admitted by the accused or proved to a jury. He also argued that his prior convictions did not qualify for the enhancement.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed. The court explained that Defendant’s argument that the indictment must allege, and evidence at trial must prove, the facts of the commission of qualifying offenses on different occasions has long been rejected by the Fifth Circuit. Moreover, the court wrote that two of Defendant’s prior convictions were for the Texas offense of burglary of a building. It has been settled that convictions for Texas burglary qualify as violent felonies under the ACCA.
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