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United States v. Rash

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
840 F.3d 462 (2016)


In 2007, the federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Oscar Rash (defendant) for possessing a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). As a convicted felon, if found guilty Rash faced the mandatory minimum sentence then required by 28 U.S.C. § 2255. At trial, Rash conceded that he had a gun in his possession at the time of his arrest, but he said he was merely returning the weapon to his girlfriend, who owned the gun. Rash claimed that he did not help the girlfriend buy the weapon, but that claim was a lie, because the gun store's videotape showed Rash assisting the girlfriend in her purchase. The jury convicted Rash and the judge imposed the § 2255 minimum sentence. The relevant provision of § 2255 was invalidated in 2015, and the federal district court held a resentencing hearing. The judge found that, under federal Sentencing Guideline U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1, Rash's false 2007 testimony warranted increasing the severity of his new sentence. Rash sought a reduction in the sentence and appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Rash argued that his false testimony was not material, because he had already conceded having the gun in his possession. The government contended that Rash's testimony was material, both as to his conviction and as to his original sentencing.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bauer, J.)

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