Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Martin: Florida Fleeing and Eluding is a "Crime of Violence" Under Guidelines' Former Residual Clause

In United States v. Martin, No. 16-11627 (July 27, 2017) (Ed Carnes, Tjoflat, William Pryor) (per curiam), the Court held that the defendant's Florida conviction for fleeing and eluding was a "crime of violence" under U.S.S.G. 2K2.1(a)(4)(A).  The Court relied on prior precedent holding that this offense qualified under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act, and the residual clause in U.S.S.G. 4B1.2 (and incorporated into 2K2.1) had the same meaning.  It therefore qualified under that clause.  The Court recognized that, although Johnson had declared the ACCA's residual clause void for vagueness, Beckles held that the residual clause in 4B1.2(a)(2) was not unconstitutionally vague.  Finally, the Court noted that the Sentencing Commission had deleted the residual clause in 4B1.2, but that amendment had not taken effect at the time of the defendant's sentencing.  And the Court declined to apply that amendment retroactively because it was substantive, not clarifying, since it eliminated an entire class of offenses from the "crime of violence" definition.