USA v. Scripps

At appellant’s sentencing hearing in District Court, the sentencing judge never directly addressed appellant, though he did repeatedly note to appellant’s sentencing counsel that appellant would have a change to speak, if he wished. On appeal, the issue of whether or not the judge directly addressed appellant — as required by Rule 32 — was never raised. So in appellant’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), prejudice may be assumed when a violation of Rule 32 is found. The matter was remanded for an evidentiary hearing.