USA v. Mario Senior
Opinion issued by court as to Appellant Mario Senior. Decision: Affirmed. Opinion type: Non-Published. Opinion method: Per Curiam. The opinion is also available through the Court's Opinions page at this link http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions.
Date Filed: 11/09/2017
Page: 1 of 2
[DO NOT PUBLISH]
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
D.C. Docket No. 4:15-cr-00053-CDL-MSH-1
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Georgia
(November 9, 2017)
Before ED CARNES, Chief Judge, MARTIN, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.
Mario Senior pleaded guilty to one count of being a convicted felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and 924(e), and he
Date Filed: 11/09/2017
Page: 2 of 2
now appeals his 235-month sentence. Senior’s guilty plea stipulated that he had
been convicted of three felonies, including obstruction of a law enforcement
officer under Georgia law. At the sentence hearing, Senior objected to his
classification as an armed career criminal on the ground that his Georgia
obstruction conviction was not a qualifying felony under the Armed Career
Criminal Act’s elements clause, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i). The district court
overruled that objection, citing our holding in United States v. Brown, 805 F.3d
1325, 1327 (11th Cir. 2015), that felony obstruction under Georgia law is a violent
felony under the ACCA’s element’s clause. This is his appeal.
Senior contends that our Brown decision was incorrectly decided, but under
the “prior panel precedent rule of this Circuit, the holding of the first panel to
address an issue is the law of this Circuit, thereby binding all subsequent panels
unless and until the first panel’s holding is overruled by the Court sitting en banc
or by the Supreme Court.” Smith v. GTE Corp., 236 F.3d 1292, 1300 n.8 (11th
Cir. 2001). That rule “is not dependent upon a subsequent panel’s appraisal of the
initial decision’s correctness.” Id. at 1301–02 (quotation marks omitted). Because
there is no en banc or Supreme Court decision overruling Brown, that decision
forecloses Senior’s argument that felony obstruction under Georgia law is not a
qualifying ACCA felony.
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