UNITED STATES v. GONZALES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
95-1605
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
Gonzales
Opinion 
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Miguel Gonzales, Orlenis Hernandez Diaz, and Mario Perez were convicted in New Mexico state court on charges arising from their use of guns to holdup undercover officers during a drug sting. After they began to serve their state sentences, they were convicted by a District Court on federal drug and firearm charges related to the sting. Federal law requires a five-year prison sentence for carrying a gun while committing a crime. A Court of Appeals vacated the additional firearms sentences on the ground that they should have run concurrently with the state prison terms.

Question 

Can the federal mandatory five-year prison term for carrying a gun while committing a crime be served concurrently with a separate state sentence?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for United States, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 18 U.S.C. 924

No. In a 7-to-2 decision delivered by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court announced "[t]he plain language of (the law) forbids a district court to direct that a term of imprisonment under the statute run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment, whether state or federal."

Cite this Page
UNITED STATES v. GONZALES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_1605>.
UNITED STATES v. GONZALES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_1605 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. GONZALES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_1605.