Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. __, 133 S. Ct. 2151 (Jun. 17, 2013)

The Court overruled Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002), and held that any fact that increases a mandatory minimum sentence must be submitted to the jury. The defendant was charged with several federal offenses, including using or carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence under § 924(c)(1)(A). The statute provided in part that anyone who “uses or carries a firearm” in relation to a “crime of violence” shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years and that if the firearm is “brandished,” the term of imprisonment is not less than 7 years. The jury convicted the defendant of the offense and indicated on the verdict form that he had “[u]sed or carried a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence”; it did not indicate a finding that the firearm was brandished. The trial court applied the “brandishing” mandatory minimum and sentenced the defendant to seven years’ imprisonment. The Court of Appeals affirmed, noting that the defendant’s objection to the sentenced was foreclosed by Harris, which had held that judicial fact-finding that increases the mandatory minimum sentence for a crime is permissible under the Sixth Amendment. The Court reversed.