Erlinger v. United States

Brief for Amicus Curiae the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner

Brief filed: 01/10/2024


Erlinger v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 23-370

Prior Decision

Decision below 77 F.4th 617 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2023)


The Armed Career Criminal Act imposes a mandatory, 15-year minimum sentence on certain offenders who have committed three prior violent felonies on “occasions different from one another.” The Supreme Court has made clear that under the Sixth Amendment, only a jury—not a judge—may find facts that increase a sentence, except for the simple fact of a prior conviction. The determination whether offenses occurred on “occasions different from one another” necessarily goes beyond the simple fact of prior convictions and instead requires detailed findings regarding the timing, location, and conduct underlying them. Thus, the inquiry triggers the Sixth Amendment right and must be undertaken by a jury.


Jeffrey T. Green and David Oscar Markus, NACDL, Washington, DC; Peter B. Siegal, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Washington, DC; Charlotte Kelly, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, San Antonio, TX

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