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Biden’s Supreme Court Pick Sides With All Justices in Striking Down Gun Crime Provision

via Forbes Breaking News
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

In a unanimous 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court found that individuals convicted of gun crimes may receive reduced prison sentences, allowing for concurrent sentences in certain cases.

The case involved conflicting subsections of 18 U.S.C. 924, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson writing the ruling.

The decision vacated a prison sentence and remanded the case for resentencing, restoring courts’ discretion in imposing concurrent or consecutive sentences. (Trending: Joe Biden Impeachment Formalized As Republicans Unite)

Justice Jackson wrote in her ruling, “Congress could certainly have designed the penalty scheme at issue here differently.”

“But Congress did not do any of these things,” she continued.

Adding, “And we must implement the design Congress chose.”

Two subsections of 18 U.S.C. 924. Subsection (c) outlines offenses and penalties and states that no term of imprisonment imposed on a person under this subsection shall run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed on the person. Subsection (j), is a recent addition that outlined different offenses and their corresponding penalties. It reportedly does not include language on forbidding concurrent sentences.

Efrain Lora’s case initiated the decision after appealing her 30 year sentence.

Lora was found guilty of aiding and abetting someone involved in drug trafficking or a violent crime while carrying or using a firearm.

Lora was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute drugs.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe reportedly sentenced Lora based on a law that he believed prohibited concurrent sentences for offenses that involve one of Lora’s crimes.

Lora received a 25-year sentence for conspiracy, and five years for the other crime.

Lora Lost his appeals case.

“Subsection (c)’s consecutive-sentence mandate applies only to the terms of imprisonment prescribed within subsection (c). A sentence imposed under subsection (j) does not qualify,” wrote Jackson.

“Subsection (j) is located outside subsection (c) and does not call for imposing any sentence from subsection (c),” she continued.

Adding, “Combining the two subsections would set them on a collision course; indeed, in some cases, the maximum sentence would be lower than the minimum sentence.”

The result of the ruling is a vacated prison sentence. The high court also remanded the case back to a lower court for resentencing.

Lora’s attorney, Lawrence Rosenberg said in a statement, “We are thrilled that the Court preserved the longstanding default of discretion in criminal sentencing, restoring courts’ discretion to impose either concurrent or consecutive sentences in this case and others like it.”

“The Court’s decision to enforce the plain text that Congress enacted will help ensure that a defendant’s sentence fits both the crime and the individual,” he continued.

The ruling was seen as preserving the default of discretion in criminal sentencing.

Justice Jackson expressed skepticism during oral arguments, questioning the government’s entitlement to a specific penalty structure.

Jackson said during the hearing, “I don’t understand why the government believes in this case that it’s entitled to the penalty structure that comes with Section (c) if a person is convicted of (c) when (j) doesn’t say and it could easily have said any person who’s convicted of subsection (c), et cetera,” to Assistant to the Solicitor General Erica Ross.

“I think it is certainly true that Congress could have been clearer in this provision,” she added.

Ross responded, “My point was simply that it also doesn’t say what [Lora] is suggesting.”

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