Supreme Court Axes Mandatory Sentencing Law

The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down 18 USC § 924(c)(3)(B), a major federal statute with mandatory sentences for crimes committed with firearms, as unconstitutionally vague.

The law, for those unfamiliar, is one that structures criminal sentencing for crimes and adds time for use of a firearm during the commision of a crime or a firearms presence during the commision of a crime.

Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, a 5-4 ruling, which stuck down the long standing law as vague. Those sentenced under the law will be having their sentences and convictions adjusted according to the ruling. Specifically Maurice Davis and Andre Glover who were sentenced for a string of gas station robberies in Texas under the now struck law.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the dissent. He argued that the law has been successfully applied in tens of thousands of cases seemingly without issue. He further argued that the majority’s ruling now may lead to resentencings and releases of numerous inmates decades earlier than Congress intended in writing 924(c). He additionally argued that the majority actually created additional confusion by making numerous crimes that would have qualified now unable to be charged.

Not every firearms case taken up by a court is a bastion of 2nd Amendment justice. Some, like this one, show just how deep and weird the legal system gets when it comes to the rules, regulations, and sentencing structure for crimes.

I’m truly curious how many sentencings this will reduce in the end.