Supreme Court Rules Certain Gun Crimes Not “Crimes of Violence”

Opens the doors for defendants to challenge convictions and sentences. 

Among the decisions released Tuesday by the Supreme Court is one in favor of a Virginia man who is seeking to challenge one of his convictions for using a firearm in an attempted robbery.  The ruling will allow the man to attempt to reduce his sentence by 10 years. 

In its 7-2 decision, the Court decided that a conviction for attempted robbery under the federal Hobbs Act does not fit the definition of a “crime of violence” and therefore does not trigger an enhanced sentence when a firearm is used. The Hobbs Act is a federal law that made it a crime to obstruct or affect interstate commerce by “robbery or extortion” when “induced by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force violence and fear.” 

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority and said that while the defendant could be sentenced for up to 20 years for his conviction, Congress has “not authorized courts to convict and sentence him to a decade of further imprisonment.” 

The decision will now open the door for numerous felons to appeal their convictions or sentences. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Supreme Court justices as they deliberate and release their final decisions of this term. 
  • That the justices will seek God’s direction as they consider the cases they will hear in the term that begins in the fall. 
  • For God to accomplish His purposes through the rulings of the Supreme Court.

Sources: CNN, SCOTUS blog


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