Which Felonies Pose a 'Serious Potential Risk of Injury' for Federal Sentencing Purposes?
Evan Tsen Lee
University of California Hastings College of the Law
Lynn A. Addington
American University - School of Public Affairs
University of Illinois College of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program
October 29, 2013
Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2013
UC Hastings Research Paper No. 82
Both the federal Armed Career Criminal Act and Sentencing Guidelines provide greatly enhanced punishment for defendants previously convicted of felonies that present a "serious potential risk of injury." The Supreme Court has by its own admission struggled to develop a formula for ascertaining which felonies meet this description. Most of the Justices agree that empirical data could be probative of the degree to which various offenses present risk of injury, but no existing study compares frequency of injury across a wide range of offenses. This Article tabulates injury data from a single source, the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), with respect to 42 crimes, and makes some recommendations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: residual clause, serious risk of injury, violent felony, crime of violence, ACCA, Sentencing Guidelines
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Date posted: October 31, 2013 ; Last revised: May 22, 2014
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