7.18.2006

Eleventh Circuit Widens Split Re What Qualifies as "Physical Force" under § 922(g)(9) of the Armed Career Criminal Act

Per U.S. v. Griffith, --- F.3d ----, 2006 WL 1976047 (11th Cir. Jul. 17, 2006):

Jerry Lee Griffith was convicted for possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), the provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) that makes it a crime for anyone who has been convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to possess a firearm. Griffith contends that his Georgia simple battery conviction does not qualify as a predicate offense for § 922(g)(9) purposes because its contact element does not require physical force. That was the sole basis of his motion to dismiss the indictment and is the principal basis of his appeal from the district court's order denying that motion. The underlying issue of statutory interpretation about what qualifies as "physical force" for § 922(g)(9) purposes has been decided by three other circuits, which have split two-to-one against Griffith's position. Our decision will make it three-to-one.

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