Supreme Court incapacitated a section of criminal law aimed at convicting people of repeated brutal crimes imprisoned for longer period of time. The justices concluded a catch-all term with Armed Career Criminal Act. It defined the crimes which make a particular defendant ready for serving a longer sentence in prison as vague. Samuel Johnson, a convict got the support from apex court on his case. He had already pleaded guilty in 2012 against federal weapon accusations. Johnson was already serving 15 years of imprisonment sentence which was a few notches above the regular ones. It was five years of more sentencing owing to a record of past convictions.
According to this law, crimes like burglary, extortion, arson and explosives use are categorized under a special section. Past records in one of these crimes may involve serving a bigger sentence. On the other hand, it expressed that violent felony is marked as a crime which involves behavior presenting a significant vulnerability of body injury to a person. The Supreme Court displayed patience by its approval of hearing Johnson’s matter to arrive at a decision. It was done to decide if Johnson’s former conviction on the possession of shotgun is eligible to be marked as violent felony or not under intensified criminal law sentencing.
Two months of time was taken by the court to analyze the case from different perspectives. Afterwards, the court advocated fresh round of debates whether law’s catchall term was vague enough to remain unconstitutional. According to the judgment of six justices, this phrase is simply unconstitutional. One of the justices addressed it as a shapeless provision of condemning a person to imprisonment for up to 15 years. It disobeys or breaches a constitutional guarantee of the entire procedure.
Reportedly, there were two justices namely Thomas and Kennedy advocating the outcome. According to their understanding, the conviction of Johnson regarding shotgun possession doesn’t qualify as felony within the law. Among the bench of justices, there was a dissenter who advocated such lawful dealings. According to reports, Justice Alito referred that law’s language was comprehensible and observed its similarities to laws of federal and state. For many years, the debate on this issue has reached the climax. Scalia, among the six justices, has referred his companions to mark it as unconstitutional from the year 2011.
There is Armed Career Criminal Act making defendants eligible towards serving longer years of imprisonment. However, it is only possible if the person concerned has three past convictions on crimes which are either heinous felonies or may be serious drug crimes. As per federal authority’s understanding, white supremacist Johnson is the founder of Aryan Liberation Movement. He was under arrest in 2012 regarding conspiracy for attacking minorities, government and others, believes the government. With the passage of time, there would be no surprises to witness the entry of numerous alternatives cropping up within justice system. A court may turn more prevalent than usual to hold up a convict’ cause holding itself accountable. Similarly, it is also important to evolve with the passage of time.