CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Morgan on the Residual Clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act

Mark R. Morganhas posted Rising from the Ashes, But Not High Enough: Sykes’ Clear-but-Failed Remedy for the Vague Residual Clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: 

This case note provides background information on the ACCA and analyzes the differences among the past approaches taken by the Court when interpreting the residual clause of the ACCA. This note continues by examining the changes in the approach and philosophy of the Court toward the residual clause, as articulated in Sykes. Next, it predicts how the Court will rule in future cases by analyzing the Court’s opinion and predicting how the Court has solidified its methods of approach using a modified-closest analog approach. Additionally, this note addresses the criticisms by the concurring and dissenting opinions in Sykes. Further, this note argues that the ACCA should be rendered void for vagueness and ambiguity. While the Sykes Court clarified its approach for future cases, ambiguity and vagueness still run rampant in the interpretation and language of the residual clause.

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