Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents
Argument: When the ACCA was enacted in 1984 and amended in 1986, the majority of states’ burglary statutes distinguished between structures and both temporary spaces and mobile vehicles. The government’s position that there was a “broad consensus” in 1986 that burglary covered temporary spaces or mobile vehicles adapted or used for overnight accommodation ignores fundamental differences among the 1986 state statutes. The addition of temporary spaces and mobile vehicles adapted for overnight accommodation to the generic definition of burglary fails to close the purported “gap” between the ACCA and state-law definitions of burglary, as numerous state burglary statutes would remain overbroad. The ACCA is properly focused on form, rather than function, in delineating those spaces encompassed by generic burglary.