In all my days, I never dreamed a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would issue a decision that on the surface, appears to be a soft-on-crime decision.
This would be especially true when the sentencing issue at the center of the case was related to gun violence.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented on the opinion limiting federal reach for harsher sentences on crimes involving guns.
Justin Taylor was a marijuana dealer in Virginia during the early 2000s.
Taylor and several cohorts set up a buyer to rob, which resulted in one of the accomplices killing the buyer as the robbery occurred.
Taylor was eventually charged with “attempted Hobbs Act robbery,” which is considered a federal crime and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
In total, Taylor received a 30-year sentence because of the mandatory minimum sentence due to the federal statute of a firearm being used during a violent crime.
The majority ruled that the Hobbs Act is not a “crime of violence,” therefore, Taylor should have never received the additional 10 years.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has proven to be an absolute disaster of an appointment for Trump, stated, “Simply put, no element of attempted Hobbs Act requires proof that the defendant used, attempted to use, or threatened to use force.”
But, the defendant DID use a gun. Again, I am no legal expert, but the fact the Hobbs Act was committed with a firearm seems as though it should have come into play.
It raises the degree, or at least should, one would think.
Thomas went ballistic in his dissent, stating, “This holding exemplifies just how this Court’s ‘categorial approach’ has led the Federal Judiciary on a ‘journey Through the Looking Glass,’ during which we have found many ‘strange things.’
“Rather than continue this 30-year excursion into the absurd, I would hold Taylor accountable for what he actually did and uphold his conviction.”
Alito agreed, adding, “I agree with Justice Thomas that our cases involving 924(c)(3)(A) have veered off into fantasy land.
“But if the Court is going to disregard the real world and base its decisions in this area on a strict reading of the text, the ‘offense’ for which Taylor was convicted — attempted Hobbs Act robbery — meets the definition in 924(c)(3)(A).”
Perhaps the Hobbs Act needs to be amended to have two different categories, adding an additional classification for a violent crime with a firearm and possibly even a violent crime that results in death to ensure this never happens again.
This is one of the more bizarre opinions I have seen this court release, and I simply cannot believe three conservative justices agreed on this.
I have stated many times that I can live with a decision even if I don’t like it if is explained by the justices to have been properly made.
In this case, I think the Supreme Court has failed us miserably.
Source: Daily Caller