Supreme Court OK’s Longer Sentences for “Career Armed Criminals”

Bolstering the troubling trend toward more, and longer, mandatory minimum sentences, the Supreme Court today upheld the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which allows prosecutors to seek longer mandatory sentences if a defendant has 3 or more prior convictions for crimes that are either violent felonies or serious drug offenses. In James v. United States, the Court upheld application of the law where one of the defendants prior convictions was for attempted burglary. As a consequence, James sentence was increased from not more than 6 years to a mandatory minimum of 15 years.

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