Rico Freeman pled guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine under 21 U.S.C. § 846, but before sentencing, he moved to withdraw that plea, claiming that the district court had misstated the applicable mandatory minimum term of supervised release during the plea. The district court denied that motion, holding the error harmless in light of Freeman’s guideline range.
On appeal the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision, but took care to note that both parties had incorrectly stated that Freeman bore the burden of persuasion to show that the district court’s Rule 11 error had affected his substantial rights. Under Vonn, it is the Government’s burden to show such an error was harmless.
Appeal from the Western District of New York
Opinion by Sullivan, joined by Park and Nardini
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