"The majority opinion runs counter to Supreme Court precedent, Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 130 S. Ct. 27 (2010), and effectively guts our Circuit precedent, United States v. Simmons, 649 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2011) (en banc). It violates principles of comity and federalism by directing federal district courts to ignore the careful sentencing decisions of their state counterparts. And it goes to such lengths all to affirm a twenty-two-year sentence imposed on a fifty-one-year old mentally ill veteran who had previously never served more than ten months in prison, tagging him with the moniker "armed career criminal." We can do much better than this."
Judge Andre Davis is obviously mad, but why? Blame the hard-to-apply Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), which mandates stiff sentences for those who have previously been convicted of a "violent felony or a serious drug offense." It relies on a vague definition for "violent felony" as "any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year," a definition that makes application to North Carolina borderline-felony offenses exceedingly difficult, as we've seen before, and will see again.