United States v. Stitt, 586 U.S. ___ (2018)

Justia Opinion Summary and Annotations

Defendants were each convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1); each was sentenced to the mandatory minimum 15-year prison term required by the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) for section 922(g)(1) offenders who have at least three previous convictions for certain “violent” or drug-related felonies. ACCA defines “violent felony” to include “any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . that . . . is burglary,” section 924(e)(2)(B). Defendants’ prior convictions were for violations of statutes that prohibit burglary of a structure or vehicle that has been adapted or is customarily used for overnight accommodation. The Courts of Appeals vacated both sentences.

A unanimous Supreme Court held that the term “burglary” in ACCA includes burglary of a structure or vehicle that has been adapted or is customarily used for overnight accommodation. Under the categorical approach, courts evaluate a prior state conviction based on the elements of the state offense, not the defendant’s behavior on a particular occasion. A prior state conviction does not qualify as generic burglary where those elements are broader than those of generic burglary: “an unlawful or unprivileged entry into, or remaining in, a building or other structure, with intent to commit a crime.” The Arkansas and Tennessee statutes satisfy those elements. When ACCA was passed, most state burglary statutes covered vehicles adapted or customarily used for lodging. Congress also viewed burglary as an inherently dangerous crime that “creates the possibility of a violent confrontation.” An offender who breaks into a mobile home, an RV, a camping tent, or another structure or vehicle that is adapted or customarily used for lodging creates a similar risk of violent confrontation.

Annotation

Primary Holding

The term “burglary” in the Armed Career Criminal Act includes burglary of a structure or vehicle that has been adapted or is customarily used for overnight accommodation.
September 12, 2017 Application (17A287) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from September 25, 2017 to October 25, 2017, submitted to Justice Kagan.
September 13, 2017 Application (17A287) granted by Justice Kagan extending the time to file until October 25, 2017.
October 13, 2017 Application (17A287) granted by Justice Kagan extending the time to file until November 24, 2017.
October 13, 2017 Application (17A287) to extend further the time from October 25, 2017 to November 24, 2017, submitted to Justice Kagan.
November 21, 2017 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 26, 2017)
December 14, 2017 Motion to extend the time to file a response from December 26, 2017 to January 25, 2018, submitted to The Clerk.
December 19, 2017 Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is extended to and including January 25, 2018.
January 25, 2018 Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed by respondent Victor Stitt, II.
January 25, 2018 Brief of respondent Victor Stitt, II in opposition filed.
February 13, 2018 Reply of petitioner United States filed.
February 14, 2018 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 3/2/2018.
February 23, 2018 Letter of petitioner United States filed. (Distributed)
February 26, 2018 Rescheduled.
March 21, 2018 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 4/13/2018.
April 16, 2018 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 4/20/2018.
April 23, 2018 Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed by respondent GRANTED.
April 23, 2018 Petition GRANTED. The petition for a writ of certiorari in No. 17-766 is granted. The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument.
April 23, 2018 Because the Court has consolidated these cases for briefing and oral argument, future filings and activity in the cases will now be reflected on the docket of No. 17-765. Subsequent filings in these cases must therefore be submitted through the electronic filing system in No. 17-765. Each document submitted in connection with one or more of these cases must include on its cover the case number and caption for each case in which the filing is intended to be submitted. Where a filing is submitted in fewer than all of the cases, the docket entry will reflect the case number(s) in which the flings is submitted; a document filed in all of the consolidated cases will be noted as “VIDED.”
May 7, 2018 Motion for appointment of counsel filed by respondent Jason Sims (in No. 17-766). (Corrected motion to be submitted 5/29/18).
May 7, 2018 Motion for appointment of counsel filed by respondent Jason Daniel Sims (in No. 17-766). (Corrected motion received 6/4/18).
May 9, 2018 Motion for an extension of time filed.
May 17, 2018 Motion to extend the time to file the opening briefs on the merits granted. The time to file the joint appendix and petitioner's brief on the merits is extended to an including June 26, 2018. The time to file respondents' briefs on the merits is extended to and including August 14, 2018.
May 31, 2018 Motion to dispense with printing the joint appendix filed by petitioner United States. VIDED.
June 13, 2018 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 9/24/2018.
June 26, 2018 Brief of petitioner United States filed. VIDED.
July 9, 2018 SET FOR ARGUMENT On Tuesday, October 9, 2018. VIDED.
August 3, 2018 CIRCULATED
August 6, 2018 Motion to dispense with printing the joint appendix filed by petitioner GRANTED. VIDED.
August 7, 2018 Record requested from the U.S.C.A. 6th Circuit.
August 14, 2018 Brief of Victor Stitt, II submitted.
August 14, 2018 Consent to the filing of amicus briefs received from counsel for Jason Daniel Sims submitted.
August 14, 2018 Brief of Jason Daniel Sims submitted.
August 15, 2018 Consent to the filing of amicus briefs received from counsel for Victor Stitt, II submitted.
August 14, 2018 Brief of respondent Jason Daniel Sims (in 17-766) filed. (Distributed)
August 14, 2018 Brief of respondent Victor Stitt, II filed. (Distributed)
August 16, 2018 Motion of Jason Daniel Sims for divided argument submitted.
August 7, 2018 Record received from the U.S.C.A. 6 Circuit. The record is electronic.
August 21, 2018 Amicus brief of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers submitted.
August 21, 2018 Amicus brief of The National Association of Federal Defenders submitted.
August 21, 2018 Brief amicus curiae of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
August 22, 2018 Amicus brief of The National Association of Federal Defenders submitted.
August 21, 2018 Amicus brief of The National Association of Federal Defenders not accepted for filing. (August 24, 2018)
August 14, 2018 Blanket Consent filed by Respondent, Jason Daniel Sims
August 15, 2018 Blanket Consent filed by Respondent, Victor Stitt, II
August 21, 2018 Amicus brief of The National Association of Federal Defenders not accepted for filing. (Brief to be reprinted - August 24, 2018)
August 21, 2018 Brief amicus curiae of National Association of Federal Defenders filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
August 16, 2018 Joint motion for divided argument filed by respondents. VIDED.
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