All around scumbag Jamar Quarles broke into a home years ago. And as such, was deemed a violent felon. Then, because of this, was not allowed to be carrying a gun, which this dumb motherfucker proceeded to do.
As such, his possession felony sent this idiot scumbag to prison for 204 months. But Quarles hired some scumbag ambulance chaser who was trying to get Quarles off on a lesser sentence.
Since the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) makes three felonies a condition for being considered as a career criminal, Quarles and his hired ambulance chaser were trying to argue that his burglary from years ago, which he didn’t dispute he did, wasn’t a burglary, because he didn’t form intent to burgle until after he was in the home, as opposed to the idea he broke in for the purposes of burgling.
Yeah, it’s one of those ridiculous semantic bullshit arguments I despise, but hey! At least he’s imaginative. Here’s one particular exchange that went to his point.
Stephen G. Breyer
Is there any reason to think that the person who stays in the bank, and then, ah, what a nice idea, I’ll help myself to some money, is any the less violent or at risk of violence or risk of — is there any less risk there than when he gets the idea of going into the bank two weeks earlier?
Jeremy C. Marwell
I think the — the — the existence of pre-formed intent, so somebody who comes to the bank with the advance plan to commit another crime shows that they will be more resolute in their desire to accomplish that crime. It may result in them bringing a weapon because they know they’re going to do that.
And I think it aligns with this — with the fact that ACCA is governing career criminals, trying to select people who have that profit motive to do multiple crimes. And you look at the fact patterns of the cases that are really the point of disagreement between us and the government, you know, Gaines from the New York Court of Appeals, a homeless person who breaks into a warehouse to get out of the cold, while he’s in there decides to grab a jacket and is caught coming out, or the case of young people who break into a house not — not intending to steal something — this is the JNS case from Oregon — take something while they’re in there and caught on the way out.
So after losing in lower courts, they ended up at SCOTUS who was asked to define burglary further, and determine if intent had to be present before he wrongly entered the property he then burgled.
SCOTUS found him and his bullshit argument less than impressive, and unanimously told him to go fuck himself. Judgment for United States.
Hear oral arguments, and read about the case here.