United States v. Jenkins, No. 14-2898 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Jenkins was charged with Kidnapping, 18 U.S.C. 1201(a), and Using or Carrying a Firearm to Commit a Crime of Violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(ii). Jenkins agreed to cooperate and entered into a proffer agreement, which prohibited the government from making direct use of any statements or information Jenkins provided in its case‐in‐chief, but permitted the government to derivatively use such information. Jenkins told the government where he hid the gun he used during the kidnapping. The government recovered the gun and introduced physical evidence and the testimony of the agents who found the gun during its case‐in-chief. Convicted, Jenkins received sentences of 188 months for kidnapping and 120 months for using a firearm to commit a federal crime of violence, to run consecutively. Jenkins argued that the government breached the proffer agreement. After arguments in Jenkins’ appeal, the Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States, holding the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminals Act, 18 U.S.C. 924(e), to be unconstitutionally vague. Jenkins then challenged his conviction for using a weapon during a “crime of violence,” (kidnapping), arguing that in light of “Johnson,” kidnapping is no longer a “crime of violence” under section 924(c). The Seventh Circuit agreed; kidnapping under section 1201(a) does not have, as an element, the use, threatened use, or attempted use of physical force. The court did not address whether the government breached the proffer agreement.