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What Does It Matter if a White Supremacist Gets Too Much Time Behind Bars?

A Supreme Court decision on the Armed Career Criminal Act could shorten sentences for hundreds of prisoners
National Socialist Movement member Samuel Johnson, an organizer of illegal immigration rally in 2010 at the Veteran's Memorial in Austin, Minnesota, shouts at pro immigration protesters.

National Socialist Movement member Samuel Johnson, an organizer of illegal immigration rally in 2010 at the Veteran's Memorial in Austin, Minnesota, shouts at pro immigration protesters.

Source: Austin Daily Herald via Bloomberg

Samuel James Johnson is not a sympathetic defendant. But his case, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today, could shorten sentences for hundreds, or even thousands, of prisoners. At the core of Johnson v. United States are years of criminal behavior, a gun charge, and a controversial law.

Johnson, 34, is a white supremacist who started the Aryan Liberation Movement after he decided that Minnesota’s National Socialist Movement wasn’t “extreme enough,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In e-mails to an informant and an undercover officer in 2010, he admitted planning to produce counterfeit currency and napalm for his new movement. He showed an AK-47 to the informant.