June 1, 2011
Sixth Circuit rejects Atkins and Graham attack on 15-year ACCA mandatory minimum
A Sixth Circuit panel this morning has an interesting little opinion rejecting an Eighth Amendment attack on a mandatory 15-year prison term for a gun possession offense by a career criminal. Here is the start and excerpts from the opinion in US v. Moore, No. 09-5935 (6th Cir. June 1, 2011) (available here):
Defendant Martino Moore, a four-time convicted felon, possessed a firearm one night in 2007. That event carried with it serious ramifications. It meant as an Armed Career Criminal he was subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of 180 months’ imprisonment. Moore argues on appeal that the imposition of this mandatory minimum sentence, as applied to him, violates the Eighth Amendment. We disagree and thus affirm....
Moore argues that his mandated minimum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. At the heart of his argument is the belief that a unique mitigating factor — his reduced culpability resulting from mental retardation — transforms an otherwise constitutional sentence into an unconstitutional one. In United States v. Tucker, we held that “[i]mposing a mandatory minimum sentence on a defendant with limited mental capabilities does not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.” 204 F. App’x 518, 521 (6th Cir. 2006). We see no reason to depart from Tucker. Further, all of the circumstances of this case, including Moore’s mildly diminished mental capacity, convince us that the district court’s sentence was not grossly disproportionate to the crime committed.
June 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Permalink
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