Monday, May 07, 2018

Sometimes, Firearms Use In A Felony Sentencing Enchancements Are Actually Applied To Criminals

They really don't like it when that happens.

The Detroit Free Press: Felon: I robbed banks. But I should get a second chance.

I used a gun to rob four banks and commit a carjacking in the Lansing area when I was in my early 20s, crimes that were prosecuted in federal court because they involved federally insured financial institutions. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. I turned down a plea deal of seven years, but was convicted at trial of all charges.

I was sentenced to 10 years for my robberies and car jacking. And because I used a gun in committing those crimes, I was sentenced to another 105 years in prison.

That’s decades longer than the average federal jail term for murder, narcotics trafficking or even child molestation. The judge who sentenced me said it was "without question, the longest sentence that I’ve ever imposed, other than one that said natural life."

I no doubt deserved punishment. But I shouldn’t have to die behind bars for my crimes

So let's recap: He committed a car jacking and 4 armed bank robberies, each committed with a firearm, so I daresay he's a slow learner in the "I shouldn't be going around committing armed felonies department."

Choosing to commit multiple armed felonies has consequences, one of which, when its actually applied, is a sentencing enhancement for using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Choosing to commit felonies that can lead to federal charges and serious sentencing enhancements that can result is icing on the cake. His choosing not to take a plea bargain that would have waived the 924c enhancements sealed the deal.

In short, what the sentence imposed on this fellow is exactly what should happen - commit serious felonies with a gun and the sentence is enhanced to match. He's complaining that he wasn't convicted of each in sequence, but was convicted of all 4 at once so he thinks it's unfair that he should get such an enhancement because he feels he shouldn't be considered a recidivist, and he wants an exception for serial bank robbery. Too bad. It's a bit like killing your parents and then asking for mercy because you're an orphan.

So of course he wants changes to the enforcement of the firearm sentencing enhancements under 18 U.S. Code § 924(c) to make it clear that if you commit a car jacking and 4 bank robberies it only can be applied if you're caught and convicted after each one, rather than being prosecuted for all five separate felonies at once. After all, he feels like he deserves a second chance.

How this will enhance the public's protection from bank robbers and carjackers is not answered as such a change would rather encourage criminals to commit as many crimes in a row as possible before they are caught and convicted.

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