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Armed Career Criminal Act - Hearing Before the House Subcommittee on Crime on HR 1627 and S 52m June 28, 1984

NCJ Number
Date Published
131 pages
Six witnesses gave testimony and presented prepared statements to the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the Armed Career Criminal Act which would permit Federal prosecution of individuals charged with firearm use in robbery or burglary after two prior convictions of similar offenses.
In behalf of these bills, it is argued that the threat of Federal prosecution will give added leverage and greater flexibility to State prosecutions and will be targeted at those offenders who represent the greatest risk to society. It is suggested that other violent, recidivist crimes such as armed rapes should be included in these bills, and that a life sentence should attach to a third conviction in these cases. Reservations concerning the wording of the bills and the problems associated with joint State-Federal jurisdiction are considered. American Bar Association standards for criminal justice relating to habitual offenders and to mandatory sentencing are appended together with the caveat that, while there is merit to habitual and dangerous offender statutes, they must be drafted in such a way as to ensure accused persons a fair trial and to preserve the basic tenets of the American criminal justice system. A final statement reiterates previously voiced concerns regarding the expansion of Federal jurisdiction and suggests that Federal financing of State and local efforts might be a more appropriate approach to the habitual, violent offender.