Submitted: April 4, 2017
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Arkansas - Texarkana
SMITH, Chief Judge, WOLLMAN, LOKEN, RILEY, COLLOTON,
GRUENDER, BENTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges, En Banc.
mandatory minimum sentence for receiving child pornography in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) is five years'
imprisonment. Id. § 2252(b)(1). But if the
defendant has a "prior conviction" under state law
"relating to aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or
abusive sexual conduct involving a minor or ward, " then
the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years' imprisonment.
Id. We granted en banc review to consider whether a
state juvenile-delinquency adjudication is a "prior
conviction" under § 2252(b)(1). Because it is not,
we vacate William Gauld's 15-year sentence and remand for
created a profile on a photo-sharing website under the screen
name "lovesboys81." He posted sexually explicit
pictures of young boys and made lewd comments about the
pictures. He also downloaded child pornography. A search of
Gauld's laptop and cell phone uncovered 921 images and 66
videos of child pornography.
pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) by
receiving child pornography. His presentence report (PSR)
calculated his Guidelines range as 151-188 months'
imprisonment based on his offense level and criminal history.
Gauld's criminal record included a juvenile-delinquency
adjudication for criminal sexual conduct involving a minor.
Treating the juvenile-delinquency adjudication as a
conviction, the PSR applied the 15-year mandatory minimum in
§ 2252(b)(1). With the mandatory minimum, Gauld's
Guidelines range became 180-188 months' imprisonment.
See U.S.S.G. § 5G1.1(c)(2).
objected to a distribution enhancement listed in the PSR and
to the PSR's counting his juvenile-delinquency
adjudication as a "prior conviction" under §
2252(b)(1). The district court sustained Gauld's
objection to the enhancement. The court told Gauld, though,
that "it's really not going to have an [e]ffect on
the amount of time that you are looking at, " because
under circuit precedent, juvenile-delinquency adjudications
are prior convictions in § 2252(b)(1). According to the
district court, were it not for the mandatory minimum, Gauld
"would be looking at a guideline range of 121 to . . .
151 months." The court sentenced Gauld to the 15-year
appeal, a panel of this court affirmed Gauld's sentence.
The panel majority held that United States v.
Woodard, 694 F.3d 950 (8th Cir. 2012), bound the
district court and the panel on whether juvenile-delinquency
adjudications are prior convictions under § 2252(b)(1).
United States v. Gauld, 833 F.3d 941, 944 (8th Cir.
2016). Gauld moved for rehearing en banc, which we granted.
We now hold that juvenile-delinquency adjudications are not
prior convictions under § 2252(b)(1). To the extent
Woodard concluded otherwise, it is
interpret statutes de novo. United States v. Storer,
413 F.3d 918, 921 (8th Cir. 2005). Title 18 U.S.C. §
2252(a) states, among other things, that those who knowingly
receive child pornography "shall be punished as provided
in subsection (b) of this section." Subsection (b)(1)
spells out the punishment for violating §
Whoever violates, or attempts or conspires to violate,
paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) shall be fined
under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not
more than 20 years, but if such person has a prior conviction
under [certain federal laws], or under the laws of any State
relating to aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive
sexual conduct involving a minor or ward, or [other child
pornography or sex-trafficking offenses], such person shall
be fined under this title and imprisoned for not less than 15
years nor more than 40 years.
statute does not define "prior conviction."
See 18 U.S.C. § 2256. Even though Gauld's
adjudication occurred under state law, we look to federal law
to define this term. Storer, 413 F.3d at 921-22.
Federal law has long distinguished juvenile adjudications
from criminal convictions. In 1938, Congress passed the
Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA), ch. 486, 52 Stat.
764, 766. It provided for anyone 17 or under who violates
federal law (unless the offense was punishable by death or
life imprisonment) to be "prosecuted as a juvenile
delinquent." § 2, 52 Stat. at 765. Such a person
was to be "prosecuted by information on the charge of
juvenile delinquency" and not prosecuted for the
underlying federal offense. Id. If found
"guilty of juvenile delinquency, " the juvenile was
to be sentenced under juvenile-specific conditions. § 4,
52 Stat. at 765. A 1948 amendment clarified the contrast
between juvenile and adult ...