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Holloway v. United States, 526 U.S. 1 (1999)

Legal Research Home > United States Supreme Court > 526 U.S. > Holloway v. United States, 526 U.S. 1 (1999)

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CASES ADJUDGED

IN THE

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

AT

OCTOBER TERM, 1998

HOLLOWAY aka ALI v. UNITED STATES

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit

No. 97-7164. Argued November 9, 1998—Decided March 2, 1999

Petitioner was charged with federal offenses including carjacking, which

18 U. S. C. 2119 defines as "tak[ing] a motor vehicle . . . from . . . another by force and violence or by intimidation" "with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm." Petitioner's accomplice testified that their plan was to steal cars without harming the drivers, but that he would have used his gun if any of the victims had given him a "hard time." The District Judge instructed the jury, inter alia, that the intent requisite under 2119 may be conditional, and that the Government satisfies this element of the offense when it proves that the defendant intended to cause death or serious bodily harm if the alleged victims refused to turn over their cars. The jury found petitioner guilty, and the Second Circuit affirmed, declaring, among other things, that the inclusion of a conditional intent to harm within 2119 comported with a reasonable interpretation of the legislative purpose. Petitioner's alternative interpretation, which would cover only those carjackings in which defendant's sole and unconditional purpose at the time of the offense was to kill or maim the victim, was clearly at odds with Congress' intent, concluded the court.

Held: Section 2119's "with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm" phrase does not require the Government to prove that the defendant had an unconditional intent to kill or harm in all events, but merely requires proof of an intent to kill or harm if necessary to effect a carjacking. This mens rea component of 2119 directs the factfinder's

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