7th Circuit rules on multiplicitous convictions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals encountered for the first time the issue of whether a single incident of firearm possession can support multiple convictions under United States Code when the defendant is included in more than one class of people who are disqualified under the statute from possessing firearms.

This issue had been addressed in other Circuits, which were unanimous in agreement that USC 922(g) cannot support multiple convictions based on a single firearm possession because prosecution is based on possession, not the defendant fitting the definition of persons not allowed to possess a firearm.

Jesse James Parker III raised four challenges to his conviction and sentence of making a false statement on a federal firearms form, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being an illegal drug user in possession of a firearm: his trial violated the Speedy Trial Act, his firearm possession convictions are multiplicitous, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, and his term of supervised release was imposed in violation of United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).

In U.S.A. v. Jesse James Parker III, No. 05-2798, the 7th Circuit affirmed the District Court's judgment except on the multiplicitous firearm convictions. Because Parker didn't raise this objection in District Court, the court's review is for plain error.

Parker was sentenced to concurrent prison terms on the firearm convictions but was ordered to pay an additional $100 special assessment for the second firearm possession conviction, something the court has held is not sufficient to warrant correction under the plain-error standard. However, based on United States Supreme Court precedent and other Circuit rulings, the 7th Circuit is overruling its previous decision on the issue. The Supreme Court has rejected the argument that a concurrent sentence with a small fee is too insignificant to warrant vacating a multiplicitous conviction, Rutledge v. United States, 517 U.S. 292, 302 (1996). The Rutledge court concluded that one of the multiplicitous convictions must be vacated, despite the lack of a multiplicity objection at sentencing.

The court remands this case to the District Court with the instructions to vacate the sentence on one of the U.S.C. 922(g) convictions and merge the two 922(g) counts into one.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  2. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.

  3. (A)ll (C)riminals (L)ove (U)s is up to their old, "If it's honorable and pro-American, we're against it," nonsense. I'm not a big Pence fan but at least he's showing his patriotism which is something the left won't do.

  4. While if true this auto dealer should be held liable, where was the BMV in all of this? How is it that the dealer was able to get "clean" titles to these vehicles in order to sell them to unsuspecting consumers?

  5. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless [ ] Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. GOD BLESS THE GOVERNORS RESISTING! Count on the gutless judiciary to tie our children down and facilitate the swords being drawn across their throats. Wake Up America ...