E. Supp.

Three Strikes and You’re Out . . . Maybe: “Violent Felonies” and the Armed Career Criminal Act in United States v. Vann

Abstract: On October 11, 2011, in United States v. Vann, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that Torrell Vann’s three prior indecent liberties convictions were not violent felonies under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). In so doing, the per curiam majority attempted to interpret the vague residual clause of the ACCA and concluded that taking improper liberties or committing lewd acts on the body of a child were not the type of convictions worthy of the fifteen-year mandatory minimum prison sentence mandated by the ACCA. This Comment argues that the time has come for Congress to amend the ACCA or for the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it void for vagueness, because an individual’s liberty cannot rest upon ad hoc judicial conjectures.

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