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United States v. Scripps

3rd Circuit

June 10, 2020

At the defendant’s sentencing, the sentencing judge never directly addressed the defendant, though the judge repeatedly noted to the defendant would have a chance to speak, if he wished. On appeal, the issue of whether or not the judge directly addressed the defendant — as required by Rule 32 — was never raised. Therefore, in the defendant’s 2255 habeas petition, he claimed that the sentencing court violated Rule 32 by not personally addressing him. The District Court denied the 2255 petition without a hearing. On appeal, the 3rd Circuit held that an evidentiary hearing was required. Notably, relying on United States v. Adams, 252 F.3d (3rd Cir. 2001), the 3rd Circuit ruled that prejudice may be assumed when a violation of Rule 32 is found.

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