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7th Circuit rules on multiplicitous convictions

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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.

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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