Fletcher v. United States, No. 16-1220 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Petitioner appealed the denial of his 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his criminal sentence. Petitioner was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), based on predicate offenses for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and two Nebraska felony convictions for making terroristic threats (one as a juvenile and one as an adult). The Eighth Circuit affirmed and held that the Nebraska statute qualifies under the ACCA force clause; an act of juvenile delinquency cannot qualify as a violent felony under any clause of the ACCA, including the residual clause, unless the court first determines that it involved the use or carrying of a firearm, knife, or destructive device; that question is completely separate from the question of whether the juvenile conviction is an enumerated offense or qualifies under the force clause; the court sua sponte determined that petitioner's claim that his juvenile offense did not involve the use or carrying of a firearm, knife, or destructive device is procedurally defaulted; and even if the theoretical possibility exists that the Nebraska statute could encompass threats only to property, petitioner has not demonstrated a realistic probability that Nebraska would apply the statute in that manner.