Saturday, December 26, 2015

7th Circuit Finds "Crime of Violence" Aggravated Felony Provision Void for Vagueness

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in United States v. Vivas-Ceja, No. 3:14CR00055-001 (7th Cir. Dec. 22, 2015), has found the "crime of violence" definition of federal immigration and criminal law's "aggravated felony" provision to be unconstitutionally void for vagueness.  In doing so, it joins the Ninth Circuit, which found the same provision to be void for vagueness earlier this year in Dimaya v. Lynch, No. 11-71307, 2015 WL 6123546 (9th Cir. Oct. 19, 2015) (Immprof Blog entry available here and here).  

Vivas-Ceja is a criminal sentencing case involving a sentencing enhancement stemming from the treatment of a prior conviction as an aggravated felony, but like Dimaya relies on the Supreme Court's holding in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), which had found a similar provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act to be unconstitutionally void.  


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