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US v. Washington, 09-4446

By FindLaw Staff on January 10, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
Conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm

US v. Washington, 09-4446, concerned a challenge to the district court's finding that defendant's 1999 conviction for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance counts as his third conviction for purposes of sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act, in a conviction of defendant for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

In affirming, the court held that, contrary to defendant's argument that Shepard, as well as the Sixth Amendment and due process, require proof beyond a reasonable doubt in making such determinations, because Shepard defines the universe of records the government may use to demonstrate facts about prior convictions, not the standard of proof required to prove them, the district court properly relied on Shepard-approved sources in making its factual determination that defendant's 1999 conviction qualified as an ACCA predicate.

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