In United States vs. Miller the Third Circuit reversed and remanded a case for re-sentencing for allocution error.
The defendant was convicted of money laundering and mail fraud as well as aiding and abetting, both offenses as a result of insurance claims that the defendant filed concerning damages to his theater business.
During sentencing, the defendant allocuted and the District Court Judge invited the prosecutor to cross examine him during his allocution.
He raised appellate grounds based on the sufficiency of the evidence and errors in allocution.
The Court found that there was sufficient evidence to find Miller guilty of that offenses committed.
With regard to sentencing, the court determined that the prosecution should not be allowed to cross-examine a defendant during allocution and that doing so violated a defendant’s allocution rights. This met the court’s plain error standard for this case (the allocution error was not raised in the district court) as the court had previously ruled that they must vacate for re-sentencing if the trial court violates the defendant’s right of allocution.
The Third Circuit Reversed, U.S. v. Miller, no. 16-1145
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