On October 5, 2015, the United States Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Evans, No. 14-4773. The appellant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and sentenced to a 188 month term of imprisonment. The Fourth Circuit upheld the sentence. In vacating the judgment, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit for further consideration, in light of this summer’s opinion in Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S. ___ (2015).
In the petition, we argued that the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) violated the appellant’s due process rights because the appellant’s prior conviction for common law robbery was considered a “crime of violence” under the ACCA’s residual clause. Earlier this summer, in Johnson, the Supreme Court held that imposing a minimum sentence based upon the residual clause violates the Constitution’s guarantee of due process. In so doing, the Court reasoned that the clause “denies fair notice to defendants and invites arbitrary enforcement by judges,” and therefore is unconstitutionally vague.