Rising from the Ashes, But Not High Enough: Sykes’ Clear-but-Failed Remedy for the Vague Residual Clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act

28 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2012  

Mark R. Morgan

University of Tulsa College of Law

Date Written: December 31, 2011

Abstract

This case note provides background information on the ACCA and analyzes the differences among the past approaches taken by the Court when interpreting the residual clause of the ACCA. This note continues by examining the changes in the approach and philosophy of the Court toward the residual clause, as articulated in Sykes. Next, it predicts how the Court will rule in future cases by analyzing the Court’s opinion and predicting how the Court has solidified its methods of approach using a modified-closest analog approach. Additionally, this note addresses the criticisms by the concurring and dissenting opinions in Sykes. Further, this note argues that the ACCA should be rendered void for vagueness and ambiguity. While the Sykes Court clarified its approach for future cases, ambiguity and vagueness still run rampant in the interpretation and language of the residual clause.

Keywords: Armed Career Criminal, ACCA, Sykes, Vagueness, residual clause

Suggested Citation

Morgan, Mark R., Rising from the Ashes, But Not High Enough: Sykes’ Clear-but-Failed Remedy for the Vague Residual Clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (December 31, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2010105

Mark R. Morgan (Contact Author)

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

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