United States v. Minard
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
856 F.3d 555 (2017)
Nathan Minard (defendant) committed several burglaries, was arrested in a vehicle full of firearms and stolen items, and pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing, one of Minard’s burglary victims described to the court the emotional impact the burglary had on his wife and children. The district court indicated that he understood what the victim was saying and that something similar had happened to him when his children were young. After setting forth its consideration of the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553, the court sentenced Minard to the statutory-maximum prison term. Minard moved under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35 for resentencing by a different judge because the district court’s statement to the victim might have caused the court to lack impartiality and impose a harsher sentence. The district court denied the motion, explaining that the court’s statement was nothing more than an expression of empathy and had nothing to do with the sentence imposed. Minard appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Loken, J.)
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