June 24, 2013 4th Circuit published opinion

United States v Davis

Davis pled guilty to multiple counts of robbery in state court and received a consolidated sentence. After release from state prison, he robbed a restaurant and pled guilty to doing so. The trial court applied the career criminal enhancement and sentenced Davis to 276 months in prison. The panel reversed. It held that under north Carolina law, consolidated sentences are one sentence and thus there were not two qualifying felonies for federal guideline purposes. The panel distinguished from precedent noting the earlier case was dealing with a different sentencing scheme and in any event there were two separate sentences in the earlier case. It rejected the government’s policy arguments as trumped by the plain language of the guideline.

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