Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Chambers v. United States

  • Decided on January 13, 2009.
  • Background: The defendant faced a conviction of the Armed Career Criminals Act, which requires a fifteen year sentence when a defendant possesses a firearm after committing three violent felonies or serious drug offenses. One of the defendant’s past offenses was a state conviction for escape from prison, which occurred when the defendant failed to report to prison. The defendant argued that the conviction was not “violent.”
  • Holding: The escape conviction did not qualify as a “violent felony” because it did not involve physical force and was a relatively passive offense that did not involve conduct that presented a risk of physical injury to another.



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