United States Supreme Court
477 U.S. 79 (1986)
A state statute required a judge to sentence a defendant convicted of an enumerated crime to a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years if the judge found by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant visibly possessed a firearm during the commission of the offense. The act did not permit a judge to sentence the defendant to a term exceeding that otherwise allowed for the specific offence of which the defendant was convicted. The state legislature specifically explained that visible possession was not an element of the crime. McMillan (defendant) was convicted of one of these enumerated felonies. However, McMillan was convicted to a term less than that minimally required by the act because each of the sentencing judges who heard the case found the act unconstitutional. On appeal, the state supreme court upheld the act as constitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 240,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.