Wednesday, March 07, 2018

US v. Adkins, No. 15-10566 (3-5-18)(Nelson w/Schroeder & McKeown).

The defendant was convicted of a violent crime in aid of racketeering under 18 USC 1959. As a basis, the indictment alleged an assault under the Hawaii code. Giving the jury instructions, the court adopted the federal definition of “knowingly” rather than the state definition. The state definition also contained a self-defense element. The 9th found this to be error, siding with the Second Circuit. However, any error was harmless. The defendant as part of a prison gang beat up the victim without provocation for a drug debt owed. The 9th also upheld defendant’s sentence as a career offender under the residual clause. Although the residual clause was deleted by the Sentencing Commission, it was not retroactive. Beckles held that Johnson’s invalidation of ACCA’s residual clause was not applicable to the guidelines. Finally, the 9th found that the defendant’s prior state convictions of false imprisonment and burglary in the first degree were crimes of violence.

The decision is here:


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