Legislators like to punish repeat offenders. That’s just good politics – “Mike Sloss puts repeat offenders behind bars” sounds better than “Mike Sloss has a balanced policy on recidivism” when put on a bumper sticker.
So it isn’t surprising that the Armed Career Criminal Act, located at 18 U.S.C. S 924(e)(1), jacks up the penalties for a person convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm if the person who is convicted has at least three prior convictions for drug dealing or a violent crime.
In a nod to fairness, though, Congress does require that those prior convictions be committed “on occasions different from one another.”