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United States v. Harris

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 21, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
Christopher J. Harris, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted January 13, 2015.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Don Michael Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jess E. Michaelsen, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Kansas City, MO.

For Christopher J. Harris, Defendant - Appellant: Carie Allen, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Ronna Ann Holloman-Hughes, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Kansas City, MO.

Christopher J. Harris, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, El Reno, OK.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, COLLOTON and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 886

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

After Christopher J. Harris sold cocaine to an undercover officer at his residence, police obtained a search warrant and discovered cocaine and several firearms on July 17, 2013. Harris eventually pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).

At sentencing, the district court determined that Harris was an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and sentenced him to the statutory minimum of 180 months' imprisonment. The court, on its own initiative, also imposed a novel special condition of supervised release that " there be no unprotected sex activities without probation office approval during the period of supervised release." In a later written order and judgment, the court attempted to modify the special condition to say that Harris " shall use contraceptives before engaging in sexual activity that may otherwise cause pregnancy unless such use would violate his religious scruples or is expressly rejected by his sexual partner." On appeal, Harris challenges both the armed career criminal determination and the special condition.

I.

We consider first the term of imprisonment. The Armed Career Criminal Act provides for a minimum term of fifteen years' imprisonment for a felon in possession of a firearm, if the defendant has three previous convictions for a " violent felony" or a " serious drug offense," committed on occasions different from one another. 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). Otherwise, the statutory maximum punishment for Harris's offense is ten years' imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). Before committing the offense in this case, Harris had sustained one conviction for felony assault and two convictions for felony sale of a controlled substance on different occasions. The district court thus concluded that Harris had previous convictions for one violent felony and two serious drug offenses, and that he was subject to enhanced punishment under § 924(e)(1).

Page 887

The court imposed the statutory minimum term of ...


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