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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Kevin Abbott
United States
Gould v. United States (09-7073)
Decided By 
(for the petitioner in 09-7073, appointed by the Court)
(for the petitioner in 09-479)
(Acting Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

In these consolidated cases, the defendants engaged in drug trafficking while using a firearm. Both defendants received an additional five-year sentence for using or carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 924(c)(1)A), even though they received longer mandatory minimum sentences under the Armed Career Criminal Act. On appeal, they argued that the sentencing enhancement provided by 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)A) should run concurrently with their already longer minimum sentences. The Third and Fifth Circuits rejected the defendants' arguments.


Does a mandatory minimum sentence provided by 18 U.S.C § 924(c)(1)A) run concurrently or consecutively to another count that carries a longer than ordinary mandatory minimum sentence?

Decision: 8 votes for United States, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 18 U.S.C § 924(c)(1)(A)

Yes. In its first opinion of the term, a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts’ opinions. "A defendant is subject to the highest mandatory minimum specified for his conduct in §924(c), unless another provision of law directed to conduct proscribed by §924(c) imposes an even greater mandatory minimum," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in an 8-0 opinion. Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the decision because of her involvement in the case as the solicitor general.

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ABBOTT v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
ABBOTT v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"ABBOTT v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,