The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the reach of a federal statute that requires stiff penalties for crimes involving a gun.
The 7-2 decision united both conservative and liberal justices, though one dissenting justice compared the result to “Alice in Wonderland.” The justices said the law can’t be used to lengthen the sentences of criminals convicted of a specific attempted robbery offense.
The case before the justices involved Justin Taylor, who in the early 2000s was a marijuana dealer in the area of Richmond, Virginia. The government has said he sold large quantities of marijuana to other dealers who distributed it. In 2003 he and another man planned to steal money from a buyer, and during the robbery the accomplice fatally shot the man.