Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Fritts: 1989 Florida robbery qualifies as ACCA "crime of violence"

In U.S. v. Fritts, No. 15-15699 (Nov. 8, 2016), the Court held that a 1989 armed robbery conviction in violation of Fla. Stat. § 812.13 qualified as a “crime of violence” under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”). The Court noted that in U.S. v. Dowd, decided in 2006, it had held that a 1974 conviction for armed robber was a violent felony under ACCA. Under Dowd, a Florida armed robbery conviction qualifies under ACCA’s elements clause. The Court rejected the argument that the Supreme Court’s decision in Curtis Johnson altered the analysis. The Court further noted that U.S. v. Lockley, decided in 2011, had held that a 1991 armed robbery qualified as a crime of violence under the elements clause of the career offender Guideline. Lockley’s reasoning also governed Fritts’ 1989 conviction. The Court rejected the argument that, under Florida law, prior to 1997, only the slightest force was sufficient to convict a defendant of Florida robbery. The Court held that, to the contrary, the robbery statute required resistance that is overcome by the physical force of the offender.