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
Date Written: December 31, 2011
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
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