Justice Department Wins Latest Career Criminal Sentencing Spat (1)

Feb. 26, 2020, 3:21 PMUpdated: Feb. 26, 2020, 7:07 PM

The federal government won the latest U.S. Supreme Court dispute over a repeat offender sentencing law.

The unanimous opinion on Wednesday by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg turned away the defense argument that Florida’s unique drug laws can’t be used as sentence enhancers.

That means those prior Florida offenses can trigger strict sentences under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which imposes 15-year minimum prison terms on federal gun offenders with three or more prior convictions for violent felony or serious drug offenses.

It defines serious drug offenses as those involving manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture or distribute ...

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