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Second Circuit – Crime of violence:United States v. Morris

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Crime of Violence

Attempted Hobbs Act robbery – Assault

United States v. Morris


Judges Cabranes, Lohier, and Menashi

Background: The defendant pleaded guilty to using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during an attempted armed robbery of suspected drug dealers and for using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during an assault in aid of racketeering of an individual whom the defendant shot and killed. At issue is whether the court must vacate the defendant’s convictions because neither is predicated on a crime of violence.

Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated the first conviction because the predicate crime is an attempted Hobbs Act robbery, which is no longer deemed a crime of violence. The Second Circuit further held that the second predicate crime is a violent crimes in aid of racketeering assault, which is a crime of violence after applying the modified categorical approach to analysis.

Christopher J. DiMase, assistant United States attorney, for the appellee; Howard A. Locker, of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, for the defendant-appellant.

Oral argument audio