Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Jones: Howard error is "plain error"
In U.S. v. Jones, No. 11-11273 (Feb. 25, 2014), the Court held that it was “plain error,” in light of its recent decision in Howard, for the district court to rely, for ACCA sentence enhancement purposes, on a prior conviction for Alabama third-degree burglary. Unlike the defendant in Howard, Jones did not object in the district court to his sentence enhancement based on a prior conviction for Alabama third-degree burglary. The issue was therefore reviewed for “plain error.” The Court found that in light of Howard, there was “error,” and this error was “plain.” The error also affected Jones’ substantial rights, because at resentencing the district court “will be statutorily compelled to give Jones a shorter sentence.” Finally, this seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the judicial proceedings.”