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Justices To Consider Consecutive Sentencing In Federal Gun Crimes

The Supreme Court will review whether drug traffickers or those who commit violent crimes have to serve extra prison time for carrying a firearm if that gun caused someone’s death. The case has the potential to give scores of people behind bars for these offenses an opportunity to argue for their sentences to be served concurrently, reports Bloomberg Law. The appeal was filed by Efrain Lora, who was found guilty in 2016 of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm that killed a rival drug dealer while trafficking drugs. Lora argued that a judge had discretion to impose concurrent sentences because one section of the law created an offense distinct from the other section.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the district court was required to impose consecutive sentences because the offense cited in one section was an aggravated form of the other offense. Federal appeals courts have differed on the issue. The high court agreed to hear the case even though the Justice Department argued that it has "limited practical importance,” reports Scotusblog.


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