If you were sentenced to a lengthy prison stay under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), then your punishment may be over sooner than you thought. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Johnson v. United States that the imposition of an increased prison sentence under the ACCA’s residual clause was unconstitutional because it violated due process.
The ACCA is a federal statute that allows courts to enhance a convicted felon’s sentence for committing a crime with a firearm if that individual had been convicted of certain other violent felonies at least three previous times. Instead of a 10-year minimum sentence, the individual faced at least 15 years in prison to life. But in Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court found the language of the law was too vague. In more recent cases, the Supreme Court determined that this ruling applies retroactively, which means hundreds of federal inmates could see reduced sentences – or be released immediately.
How the Supreme Court Ruling Effects Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that the federal public defender’s office in Cincinnati, Ohio, has begun an initial review of 400 federal inmates it knows to have been sentenced under the ACCA. It is possible that many of these 400 inmates received unnecessarily long sentences and some of them should have already been released. However, this office covers only the Southern District of Ohio, not the Northern District of Ohio. There may be hundreds more Ohio citizens who were sentenced in the North District who will not be reviewed by the Cincinnati office.
If you were tried and sentenced under the ACCA anywhere in Ohio, then you need to have a criminal defense attorney review your specific case. With hundreds of cases to comb through, it is unlikely that a public defender’s office will notice your situation quickly or at all. You must take the matter of your criminal defense into your own hands and have the case looked at by a capable Ohio criminal defense attorney like Bradley J. Groene.
Cincinnati Lawyer Bradley J. Groene Can Help
If you and your attorney find that you were given too long of a minimum prison sentence because of the vague residual clause of the ACCA, you will need to return to court to win your freedom. Once you go back to court, a U.S. District Judge should recalculate the minimum sentence for your conviction. If you have already completed the appropriate sentence, the judge may grant your release from prison. If you have not completed the necessary time, you will return to prison but with a new, sooner release date.
Attorney Brad Groene understands how difficult it may be to hear you were given an excessive prison sentence, but also how much hope this Supreme Court ruling can bring. He will thoroughly review your case with you to see whether you were sentenced under the ACCA and whether the retroactive application of this ruling would change your current situation. If you deserve a shorter sentence, Brad will fight for your right for an early release.
Call Bradley J. Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates, LLP at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a consultation.