Over a yr in the past, I famous in this post that the U.S. Supreme Court docket had taken up the case of Picket v. United States to resolve what quantities to separate “events” within the Armed Profession Prison Act. There may be widespread settlement that repeat offenders needs to be handled extra severely than one-timers, however the distinction between repeating and committing a number of crimes in a single incident typically makes for tough line-drawing. I famous within the earlier submit:
Breaking into 10 completely different models at a self-storage place is 10 counts of housebreaking beneath Georgia legislation. That appears cheap, given 10 separate breakings and 10 separate entries to steal the possessions of 10 separate victims. But when they’re completed one after one other is that 10 completely different events for the aim of the recidivist statute? That looks like a stretch.
Not surprisingly, the Court docket’s decision at this time was unanimous within the judgment that counting 10 events for the aim of the ACCA was an overreach.
There are some attention-grabbing divisions within the concurring opinions on such wide-ranging topics because the rule of lenity, the presumption of mens rea, and imputing to Congress an intent to abrogate a selected determination.