Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Judicial Documents Established that Prior Burglary Convictions Were for Generic Burglary Under ACCA

United States v. McGee, No. 04-20847 (5th Cir. Aug. 11, 2006)

McGee pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had several prior South Carolina convictions for second-degree robbery (S.C. Code ยง 16-11-312(A)), which the district court found to be generic burglary for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act. McGee disagreed with that conclusion, and appealed.

"McGee argue[d] that the Taylor Court deemed the generic burglary definition not to include entry into objects such as booths, tents, boats, or railroad cars, but that South Carolina's definition of 'dwelling,' as construed by South Carolina courts, includes entry into such objects." Slip op. at 4. The court assumed without deciding that the South Carolina statute was nongeneric and, reyling on Shepard, examined the indictment and plea agreement from McGee's prior conviction to pare down the statute. Those documents identified the burgled dwellings by specific street addresses. Citing cases from the Ninth Circuit, the court held that identification of the burgled locations by common street addresses was sufficient to support a finding that they were "buildings" within the Taylor definition of generic burglary.


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