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November 6, 2008

When Judge Posner asks and SCOTUS grants, the USSC responds

I am pleased to not a cool new research report appearing on the US Sentencing Commission's website.  The report is available at this link, and here is how it is described:

In response to a suggestion in a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, United States v. Chambers, 473 F.3d 724 (7th Cir. 2007), cert. granted, __ U.S. __ , 128 S. Ct. 2046 (2008), the United States Sentencing Commission undertook a data analysis of federal escape cases to inform the legal question of whether the crime of escape qualifies as a "violent felony" for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), the Armed Career Criminal Act (the “ACCA”). This report summarizes the legal question at issue and describes the methodology and results of the analysis undertaken by the Commission.

Prior posts on the Chambers ACCA case:

November 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM | Permalink


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A quick look at the data leads me to conclude that the only type of escape which would even arguably involve conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury is "Leaving Secure Custody" as shown in Figure 1. (Note: I think Figure 2 is too broad in grouping "Leaving Law Enforcement Custody" with this other type of "Secured escape", especially given the low ra).

However, I think a more important conclusion can be drawn from this report. Namely, the fact that this report is even necessary, IMO, lends support to the argument that the "otherwise" clause is too vague. Does a study like this need to be done on every type of prior conviction?

Posted by: DEJ | Nov 6, 2008 2:07:02 PM

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