Courts wrestle with whether manslaughter is always violent
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)NEW YORK – Once annually, sometimes less, the full federal appeals court in New York meets to confront a perplexing legal question. Most recently, it was to decide whether shooting somebody point-blank in the face and stabbing somebody to death are violent acts. A lower-court judge had decided that Scott’s convictions — on manslaughter charges — meant he had not been convicted of a violent crime. That’s because two laws at stake — the Armed Career Criminal Act and the Career Offender Sentencing Guideline — do not define a violent crime by what the defendant actually did. Circuit Judge Michael H. Park noted the “absurdity of the exercise we have now completed.