Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Demand Satisfaction: New Mexico Aggravated Assault (Deadly Weapon) Not Crime of Violence Under Guidelines

By this point, you might think that our Court had already determined every possible prior conviction that constitutes of a "crime of violence." You would, of course, be wrong. Until this week, the Sixth Circuit had not had opportunity to consider a New Mexico conviction for aggravated assault (deadly weapon).

In United States v. Rende-Mendez (10-2509), the Court decided that, notwithstanding its name and a dissent by Judge Griffin, New Mexico aggravated assault (deadly weapon) is not a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. Section 2L1.2. The court applied the familiar categorical approach and noted that the New Mexico statute defining the offense could be satisfied by "the use of insulting language toward another impugning his honor, delicacy or reputation." N.M. Stat. Section 30-3-1(C). Such actions, the Court reasoned, could not be considered a crime of violence.

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