Which Felonies Pose a 'Serious Potential Risk of Injury' for Federal Sentencing Purposes?
19 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2013 Last revised: 16 Sep 2015
Date Written: October 29, 2013
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.
Keywords: residual clause, serious risk of injury, violent felony, crime of violence, ACCA, Sentencing Guidelines
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation