United States v. Melvin, No. 19-1409 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Melvin pled guilty to possessing with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. The probation office prepared a presentence investigation report (PSR) and filed it with the court electronically. Melvin’s crime carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release. The probation office mailed Melvin’s attorney a letter, stating that the PSR had been electronically filed and that, “Pursuant to Judge Myerscough’s directive, a copy of the report has not been provided to the defendant and you should not provide a copy to them. You are responsible for reviewing the report with Mr. Melvin.” Melvin’s attorney reviewed the PSR with Melvin without giving the PSR to Melvin. Melvin’s attorney's objections to the PSR were resolved. At his sentencing hearing, Melvin asked if he could get a copy of the PSR. Judge Myerscough denied Melvin’s request, explaining that “[t]here is confidential information ... that would be harmful” to Melvin and his family. The district court sentenced Melvin to 15 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The district court did not violate 18 U.S.C. 3552(d), which only requires “disclosure,” but did violate Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(e)(2) by denying Melvin a copy of his PSR but the error was harmless. Melvin’s sentence could not be lower if he were resentenced.