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On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down a decision many years in the making—Johnson v. United States. Johnson held that the ‘‘residual clause’’ of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) is unconstitutionally vague. Although Johnson may have been overshadowed in the final days of a monumental Supreme Court term, the decision is a significant one that will have important consequences for the criminal justice system. ACCA’s residual clause imposed a severe 15-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, and many federal prisoners qualify for ACCA’s mandatory minimum. Johnson did away with ACCA’s residual clause such that defendants will no longer face the prospect of its harsh penalties.


Published as Litman, Leah. "Resentencing in the Shadow of Johnson v. United States." Federal Sentencing Reporter 28, no. 1 (2015): 45-57. © 2015 by [the Regents of the University of California/Sponsoring Society or Association].