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Time and Punishment: How the ACCA Unjustly Creates a "One-Day Career Criminal"
American Criminal Law Review  (IF3.455),  Pub Date : 2020-12-01, DOI:
Aliza Hochman Bloom

In 2017, Adam Longoria was sentenced pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) to a fifteen-year term of imprisonment. The ACCA imposes a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence for any defendant who knowingly possesses a firearm and has three previous convictions for a “violent felony,” “serious drug offense,” or both, “committed on occasions different from one another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). In Mr. Longoria’s case, the ACCA enhancement was based upon two drug sales committed within the temporal span of a related drug conspiracy. In 2010, he pled guilty to these three interrelated counts in federal court and was sentenced in one judgment later that year. Six years later, his live-in girlfriend tried to sell a gun on Facebook, and Mr. Longoria was charged with constructive possession of a firearm. Because Mr. Longoria’s three interrelated counts from the 2010 drug conspiracy were counted as three serious drug offenses “committed on occasions different from one another,” he was sentenced pursuant to the ACCA’s fifteen-year mandatory minimum.