Archive | modified categorical approach

Monday, June 26th, 2023

The Second Circuit holds that, despite the erroneous jury instructions defining the “crime of violence” required for a § 924(c) conviction — allowing the jury to convict the Petitioners based on predicate offenses that didn’t necessarily require the actual or threatened use of force — the Petitioners failed to show that the instructional errors “resulted in prejudice that would entitle them to the relief they [sought] under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.” Nardino Colotti, et al. v. United States, Nos. 21-932(L), 21-937(CON), 21-950(CON), 21-992(CON), 21-1548(CON), __ F.4th ____ (2d Cir. June 21, 2023) (C.J.J.’s Leval, Parker, Menashi).


This is an appeal from a district court judgment denying the Petitioners’ motions, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate, set aside, or correct their convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  The Circuit affirms the district court.

The Petitioners were convicted after a jury trial — conducted “in late 2005 and early 2006″ — on 14 out of 15 counts, including Count 13, which charged the Petitioners with using and carrying firearms during and in relation to a “crime of violence,” 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which was predicated on the “offense charged in Count  One, racketeering activity in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (‘RICO’), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c).” See Op. at 3-5.

The RICO offense, in turn, was “predicated on Racketeering Acts 4 and 5, which in turn  charged violations of N.Y. Penal Law § 155.40, the New York penal statute defining second degree …

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Categories: 2255, 924(c), crime of violence, divisible/indivisible statute, modified categorical approach, RICO

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