Court: Career criminal won't get less prison time

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says a career criminal cannot get his sentence reduced because of a change in drug-crime penalties in North Carolina.

The high court on Monday turned away an appeal by Clifton McNeill, who pleaded guilty to gun and drug possession in 2008.

Lower courts increased his sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act since he had previous drug and robbery convictions. But McNeill argued that his cocaine possession and intent to sell sentences shouldn't count because North Carolina had reduced the penalty for drug crimes since his conviction.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that those crimes still counted, since they were committed before the penalties were reduced.

The case is McNeill v. United States, 10-5258.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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