On March 30, 2017, in United States v. King, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a sentencing court may not rely on information in bills of particulars for the Armed Career Criminal Act’s different-occasions inquiry. In so doing, the Sixth Circuit joined the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits in holding that sentencing courts deciding the different-occasions question may rely only on the evidentiary sources that the United States Supreme Court approved in Taylor v. United States in 1990 and Shepard v. United States in 2005. In contrast, on January 2, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in United States v. Evans suggested that the Taylor- and Shepard-evidentiary restrictions might not apply to the different-occasions inquiry. This Comment argues that the Sixth Circuit decided correctly in King, but also that the court’s decision conflicts with congressional intent, and thus Congress should amend the act to resolve this conflict.
Kayleigh E. McGlynn, Incapacitating Dangerous Repeat Offenders (or Not): Evidentiary Restrictions on Armed Career Criminal Act Sentencing in United States v. King, 59 B.C. L. Rev. E. Supp. 348 (2018), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol59/iss9/20