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SHEPARD v. UNITED STATES, 544 U.S. ---

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SHEPARD v. UNITED STATES

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT

No. 03-9168.Argued November 8, 2004--Decided March 7, 2005

After petitioner Shepard pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(1), the Government sought to increase his sentence from a 37-month maximum to the 15-year minimum that §924(e), popularly known as the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), mandates for such felons who have three prior convictions for violent felonies or drug offenses. Shepard's predicate felonies were Massachusetts burglary convictions entered upon guilty pleas. This Court has held that only "generic burglary"--meaning, among other things, that it was committed in a building or enclosed space--is a violent crime under the ACCA, Taylor v. United States, 495 U. S. 575, 599, and that a court sentencing under the ACCA can look to statutory elements, charging documents, and jury instructions to determine whether an earlier conviction after a jury trial was for generic burglary in States (like Massachusetts) with broader burglary definitions, id., at 602. Refusing to consider the 15-year minimum, the District Court found that a Taylor investigation did not show that Shepard had three generic burglary convictions and rejected the Government's argument that the court should examine police reports and complaint applications in determining whether Shepard's guilty pleas admitted and supported generic burglary convictions. The First Circuit vacated, ruling that such reports and applications should be considered. On remand, the District Court again declined to impose the enhanced sentence. The First Circuit vacated.

Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.


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