Chazen v. Marske, No. 18-3268 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Chazen was convicted of possessing a firearm as a felony and was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(1), which mandates a minimum 15-year sentence if a defendant unlawfully possesses a firearm and has three prior convictions for a serious drug offense or violent felony, which “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another” or is “burglary, arson, or extortion.” At the time, the definition included a residual clause, which encompassed any felony that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” In 2015, the Supreme Court held the residual clause void for vagueness. Chazen has felony convictions under Minnesota law for second-degree assault, second-degree manufacture of a controlled substance, escape from custody, and second-degree burglary. After an unsuccessful appeal and 28 U.S.C. 2255 habeas petition, Chazen sought relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the grant of relief. The government conceded that Chazen’s controlled substances conviction did not qualify as a serious drug offense. Minnesota's burglary statute covers more conduct than generic burglary and does not qualify as an ACCA predicate violent felony. Relief was available under section 2241 because, at the time of Chazen’s 2013 section 2255 petition, precedent foreclosed any contention that his Minnesota burglary convictions did not qualify as violent felony predicates.