Tuesday, November 16, 2010
On Oct. 15, the Supreme Court resolved the meaning of an ambiguous statute Here’s the summary from BNA’s Supreme Court Today:
Abbott v. United States, No. 09-479, and Gould v. United States, No. 09-7073. The court settled a debate among the lower courts over the meaning of the federal statute that requires the imposition of a consecutive sentence for a defendant who uses or possesses a firearm in connection with a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime "except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by this subsection or by any other provision of law," 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)(A). In a unanimous opinion, the court decided that the "except" clause bars only "stacked" sentences for violating Section 924(c) and does not preclude the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for different counts of conviction.