Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis.
No. 2:17-cr-20129-1—Sheryl H. Lipman, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: September 14, 2020
Before: BATCHELDER, DONALD, and THAPAR, Circuit Judges.
The Sentencing Guidelines called for a sentence of 97 to 120 months in prison. Yet the
district court imposed a noncustodial sentence of just 12 months’ home confinement. The
government appealed, and we vacated the sentence because it was substantively unreasonable. It
both “ignored or minimized the severity of the offense” and “failed to account for general
deterrence.” Schrank, 768 F. App’x at 515.
Yet on remand, the district court imposed the same sentence. The district judge criticized
our court for “second-guess[ing]” her sentence and said that she refused to impose a sentence
that “does not make sense.” R. 47, Page ID 249, 271. But the district judge didn’t stop there.
She also found time to criticize the “sophistication of the judges on the Sixth Circuit when it
comes to computers” and said that Schrank’s misconduct—accessing the dark web over the
course of five days and downloading nearly 1,000 images of children being raped—was “much
less exaggerated” than “the Sixth Circuit judges realize.” Id. at 250. She concluded by noting,
“maybe the Sixth Circuit will reverse me again.” Id. at 271.
We now do just that. Because Schrank’s sentence remains substantively unreasonable,
we vacate it and remand for resentencing. And given the district judge’s conduct, we order that
the case be reassigned on remand.