Threat To Kill Not Physical Violence, 5th Circ. Says

Law360, New York (February 15, 2017, 11:27 AM EST) -- The Fifth Circuit has held that the Western District of Texas erred by enhancing the sentence of a man convicted of illegally re-entering the U.S. because of a previous conviction in Arkansas for making terroristic threats, finding that the prior incident did not qualify as an act of violence under federal statutes.

While Jose Gustavo Rico-Mejia was previously convicted for threatening to kill someone, the relevant language in the federal statute calls for sentence enhancements in instances of threats of physical force. The Fifth Circuit panel concluded Feb. 10 that it has previously ruled that it is possible to kill someone...

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