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Case Details

Case: United States v. Rodriquez
Subject(s): Armed Career Criminal Act, statutory intepretation, sentencing, recidivism
Appealed from: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Docket No: 06-1646
Decision Rendered: No
Decision: None

Question(s) presented: Whether a defendant whose drug offense is deemed "serious" only because it was not his first can be called a "career criminal" under federal law

Holding of appellate court: The district court and the Ninth Circuit agreed that drug crimes two and three did not count as "serious" under ACCA because the crimes themselves -- delivery of controlled substances -- would not have been eligible for the ten-year penalty unless they were repeat crimes. The Ninth Circuit explained that when a sentence reflects punishment not just for the underlying offense, but also for recidivism, its precedent and the Supreme Court's opinion in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990) require it to disregard any portion of the punishment directed at recidivism.

Date of Oral Arguments Your Prediction Your Prediction by Justice Update
Affirm Reverse Vacate Justice Affirm Reverse Vacate
Jan 01, 2008 Alito