Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Supreme Court Case Taylor v. United States?

For a school project involving numerous court cases I need to know what exactly happened in the supreme court case Taylor v. United States. I have, of course, googled the case, but the language is a bit rough for me to get through, even off of wikipedia. Could any lawyers/law students out there please break it down for me? I'd really appreciate it.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The Supreme court had to determine what constitutes a burglary should they use the old common law definition or use a generic definition that would fit into most states laws, when considering prior acts of burglary the court determined that the generic definition was the appropriate method to determine if prior convictions should be considered as aggravating circumstances for enhanced sentencing.

    The final step in the Court's analysis was to settle the question of how to prove whether a particular defendant's conviction qualifies as "generic burglary." If the state statute is narrower, then "there is no problem, because the conviction necessarily implies that the defendant has been found guilty of all the elements of generic burglary." If the state's definition of "burglary" matches the definition of "generic burglary," or varies from it only slightly, then that too is sufficient. However, where a state's definition of burglary is broader than the definition of "generic burglary," or where a state does not have a crime called "burglary," the problem of proving whether the conviction is for "generic burglary" is more difficult. The statute says "has three prior convictions," not "has thrice committed acts which." This suggests that it is the elements of the conviction rather than the facts supporting it that matters. In appropriate cases, the trial court may look past the statute of conviction to the indictment or information and the jury instructions to determine whether, with respect to any one of the defendant's prior convictions, he was convicted of a crime whose elements match the elements of "generic burglary."

    Justice Scalia concurred in the opinion of the Court, except for its discussion of the legislative history — the form the law took when it was a bill pending before Congress, and the statements various members of Congress made while it was pending. Scalia believes that the text of the statute passed by Congress is the only thing that is important. "The examination [of the legislative history] does not uncover anything useful (i.e., anything that tempts us to alter the meaning we deduce from the text anyway), but that is the usual consequence of these inquiries (and a good thing, too)." Ultimately, though, Scalia found the effort futile. "I can discern no reason for devoting 10 pages of today's opinion to legislative history, except to show that we have given this case close and careful consideration. We must find some better way of demonstrating our conscientiousness."~


  • 3 years ago

    First, there is an option to trial via jury: any defendant in a US courtroom can wave the perfect to a jury trial and have the choose verify. 2nd, if the defendant chooses to bypass with a jury...yeah, that's quite honest. i've got served on a jury, and that i will permit you recognize that the 12 human beings interior the room for the duration of deliberations have been going out of our thank you to be honest and independent, and are available to a determination based on the information provided. finally, the fairness is provided via the choose, who makes advantageous that the two aspects play honest of their presentation of information, provides direction to the jury as mandatory, then defines the instructions by which the jury deliberates. There, i think of I responded all of them as superb i ought to. stable question. EDIT: Sway_27 has the jury determination technique down perfect; i could basically upload that the pool is frequently chosen randomly from voter registration and DMV information.

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