Argued: September 29, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York. No. 16-cv-1787 - J. Paul Oetken,
from a judgment of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York (Oetken, J.) denying a motion
filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 2255, and upholding
Petitioner's sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act
(ACCA). Petitioner contends that his prior convictions under
subsections (3) and (4) of the New York first degree robbery
statute, N.Y. Penal Law § 160.15, do not categorically
qualify as violent felonies under the ACCA. We conclude that
Petitioner's convictions satisfy the intent requirement
for ACCA predicate offenses under the ACCA's
"elements" clause. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the
judgment of the district court.
Matthew B. Larsen, Federal Defenders of New York, New York,
NY, for Petitioner-Appellant.
Nicholas Folly, Assistant United States Attorney (Margaret
Garnett, Assistant United States Attorney, of counsel), for
Joon H. Kim, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern
District of New York, New York, NY, for Respondent-Appellee.
Before: Chin and Droney, Circuit Judges, and Restani, Judge.
Droney, Circuit Judge
2007, Sean Stuckey was convicted in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York of
possession of a handgun by a previously convicted felon in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e). At
sentencing, the district court imposed a sentence of 188
months and ten days' imprisonment. Part of that sentence
was the mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months required by
the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. §
924(e). The ACCA requires such a sentence for violations of
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) if the defendant has three
previous convictions in state or federal court for
"serious drug offense[s]" or "violent
felon[ies]." 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1).
2016, Stuckey filed a motion in the district court under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to "vacate, set aside, or
correct" his sentence, relying on recent Supreme Court
decisions that narrowed the types of crimes that qualify as
predicate offenses under the ACCA. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
district court's proceedings concerning his § 2255
motion, Stuckey contended that two of his prior first degree
New York robbery convictions were not violent felonies under
the ACCA. Stuckey argued that under Leocal v.
Ashcroft, 543 U.S. 1 (2004), a defendant must intend the
degree of "physical force" required by 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e)(2)(B)(i) for the penalties imposed by the ACCA
to apply. Stuckey reasoned that his prior New York first
degree robbery convictions cannot categorically qualify as
violent felonies under the ACCA because New York law imposes
strict liability on accomplices who do not engage in the
particular conduct that elevates the statutory offense to a
first degree robbery.
district court rejected this argument, concluding that the
robbery statute's intent requirement satisfies
Leocal's intent requirement without the need for
additional proof that the defendant intended to commit the
aggravating acts necessary to elevate the crime to first
degree robbery. We agree with the district court that the
intent requirement for an offense to qualify as an ACCA
predicate was satisfied by Stuckey's two prior first
degree robbery convictions. Accordingly, we
AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
March 2006, Sean Stuckey was on New York state parole and
visited his parole office to report that he was having a
"problem in his neighborhood." United States v.
Stuckey, No. 06-cr-339, 2007 WL 2962594, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.
Oct. 10, 2007). Because his parole officer was not able to
see him at that time, the officer visited Stuckey that
evening at his rented room in the Bronx. Id. During
the visit, the officer entered Stuckey's room and saw a
loaded handgun on top of Stuckey's nightstand, in
violation of his parole conditions. Id. at *3.
Officers from the New York City Police Department arrived and
took Stuckey into custody. Id. Stuckey was then
indicted in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York for possession of a handgun and
ammunition by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1) and § 924(e)(1). Id. at *6. He was
found guilty on July 30, 2007, following a jury trial.
sentencing on January 10, 2008, the district court
(Patterson, Jr., J.) sentenced Stuckey to 188 months
and 10 days' imprisonment, applying the mandatory minimum
of 180 months required by the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(1). At the time, Stuckey did not contest that three of
his prior New York state convictions (one for second degree
assault and two for separate first degree robberies)
subjected him to enhanced penalties as an armed career
criminal. The court determined that Stuckey was subject to
the mandatory minimum sentence because these three prior
convictions counted as violent felonies under 18 U.S.C.
his conviction and sentencing, Stuckey appealed to this
Court. On appeal, Stuckey raised various arguments regarding
his competency, the suppression and admission of evidence,
the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), the
lawfulness of the ACCA after Apprendi v. New Jersey,
530 U.S. 466 (2000), and the district court's
consideration of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c) sentencing
factors. He did not challenge the treatment of his prior New
York convictions in calculating his sentence under the ACCA.
We affirmed. United States v. Stuckey, 317 Fed.Appx.
48 (2d Cir. 2009) (summary order). In 2016, Stuckey filed his
motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his sentence.
his hearing before the district court on his § 2255
motion, Stuckey argued that recent Supreme Court decisions
rendered his two previous first degree robbery convictions
not violent felonies under the ACCA. The district court
(Oetken, J.) denied the motion, holding that the two
New York state first degree robbery convictions were violent
felonies under the ACCA. Following that decision, the
district court issued a certificate of appealability. App.
5-6. This appeal followed.
appeal Stuckey argues that his New York first degree robbery
convictions are not categorically violent felonies under the
ACCA because he must have personally intended the particular
enhanced conduct under the two subsections of the New York
first degree robbery statute under which he was convicted to
qualify the convictions as ACCA predicates. Stuckey relies on
two Supreme Court precedents: Leocal v. Ashcroft,
543 U.S. 1 (2004), which requires a threshold level of intent
for ACCA predicate crimes, and Johnson v. United
States, 559 U.S. 133 (2010), which clarifies the degree
of force necessary for an ACCA predicate. "We review
de novo the district court's determination of
whether a prior offense is a 'violent felony' under
the ACCA, " United States v. Lynch, 518 F.3d
164, 168 (2d Cir. 2008), and conclude that Stuckey's
first degree robbery convictions satisfy the ACCA's
New York First Degree Robbery
York robbery statute sets forth the following as to the
aggravating circumstances that elevate ...