Published on: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court dismissed the grant of certiorari in Walker v. United States, No. 19-373 (Jan. 28, 2020) (dismissed), because Petitioner Walker died on January 22, 2020.  Mr. Walker's case had raised the question whether an offense that can be committed with a mens rea of recklessness can include as an element the “use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another” under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(2)(B)(i).

In the Response to the Suggestion of Death filed by the Solicitor General, the government notes that the “Court appears to be holding several other petitions for writs of certiorari that raise the same issue, and it may wish to grant one of those petitions as a substitute.”  For example, the government says Burris v. United States, No. 19-6186 (filed Oct. 3, 2019), "would provide the most suitable substitute for Walker"  because the first issue in Burris involves a challenge to the application of the ACCA based on the same Texas robbery offense at issue in Walker.” What’s more, the government represents that the Petitioner in Burris is ready to file his initial brief on an expedited basis so the case could be heard this term.  Indeed, just today, the Petitioner in Burris filed a Supplemental Brief for Petitioner arguing that his case would be a "one-for-one" match with the issues presented in Walker.  

Mr. Walker's brief on the merits, as well those of numerous amici, are available on the Supreme Court's website here.  Mr. Burris's certiorari stage documents are also available on the Court's website here.  The Training Division provides sentencing resource materials that will help you argue for the best possible sentence for your clients.