United States v. Sanchez, No. 18-10711 (11th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence for one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that defendant's prior New York convictions for first degree robbery and attempted second degree murder qualified as violent felonies under the Armed Career Criminal Act's elements clause.
The court held that New York first degree robbery, which requires the defendant to "forcibly steal" has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force. The court also held that New York's second-degree murder statute, which requires the intentional causation of death, categorically requires the use of physical force. The court saw no reason to draw a distinction between administering a poisonous substance with the intent to cause death and withholding a life-saving substance with the intent to cause death, where both must in fact cause death to be prosecuted. The court also upheld the district court's imposition of a mandatory minimum fifteen-year sentence.