United States v. Bullock, No. 07-3059-cr (2d Cir. December 17, 2008) (Jacobs, Minor, Sotomayor, CJJ)
Bullock, a previously convicted felon, was convicted, after a jury trial, of possessing ammunition. He was subject to a fifteen-year mandatory minimum under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), and actually received a sentence of 188 months. On appeal, he argued principally that his prior convictions – three robberies – were not ACCA predicates because his civil rights had been restored. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20). Specifically, he noted that he had “been off parole for 11 years,” was “entitled to vote,” and that New York law did not restrict his right to possess ammunition.
The circuit disagreed. Restoration of civil rights has three components – the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to hold elective office. The court agreed that Bullock’s rights to vote and hold office were “arguably” restored by operation of law under N.Y. Elect. Law § 5-106 and N.Y. Civ. Rights Law § 79. But, since Bullock was not pardoned and his prior convictions had not been “expunged,” he still did not have the right to serve on a jury in New York. Accordingly, the district court properly counted Bullock’s as ACCA predicates.
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