Thursday, February 01, 2018

US v. Walton, No. 15-50358 (2-1-18)(Rakoff w/M. Smith & Friedland).

An ACCA enhancement is reversed.  Under US v. Dixon, 805 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 2015), California robbery is not a COV. The 9th also concludes that first degree robbery under Alabama is not a COV because the state’s third degree robbery is not sufficiently violent to qualify as a COV. Third degree becomes first degree if the defendant had a deadly weapon. Third degree robbery requires force but it can be nonviolent force.  For an ACCA COV, the Supremes have required “substantial” force. Johnson, 559 US at 140; and Castleman, 134 S.Ct 1405(2014). Such force is lacking here and the govt has not argued divisibility.  Thus, the defendant goes from 4 predicate COV felonies to 2, and is not ACCA.

Congrats to Jonathan Libby, AFPD, Cal Central (Los Angeles).
The decision is here:


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