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Bloomberg Law: Violent-Crime Definition Gets High-Court Hearing in Gun Case

December 7, 2021

The US Department of Justice urged the US Supreme Court to overturn an appeals-court ruling that reverses mandatory-minimum gun sentences. In the case where Justices appear divided, the Supreme Court considered the question of “whether attempted federal robbery counts as a ‘crime of violence’ under a law that exposes defendants to stiff prison terms.” The case stems from the federal prosecution of Justin Taylor, who was convicted of Hobbs Act conspiracy and a crime of violence under 924(c). Chief Justice John Roberts asked the lawyers in the case about what charges Woody Allen’s character in “Take the Money and Run” would face for handing the note “I have a gub” to the teller. Taylor’s lawyer, former Deputy US Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, said in response that Woody Allen’s character would violate the Hobbs Act. “An attempt that fails is still prosecutable as an attempt,” Dreeben, who is now a partner at O’Melveny, said. 

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