Appeal from tax protester in 2007 armed standoff rejected

  • FILE - In this June 18, 2007 file photo, Edward Brown speaks to reporters during a news conference at his home, in Plainfield, N.H. Brown, 78, is up for re-sentencing Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020 over a months long armed standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 to protest a tax evasion conviction. Brown, originally sentenced to 37 years in prison, says he should be sentenced to the 13 years he has already served. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File) Jim Cole

Associated Press
Published: 2/18/2022 5:52:37 PM
Modified: 2/18/2022 5:52:27 PM

A federal appeals court has rejected a New Hampshire man’s request to be released from his prison sentence stemming from a standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 over a tax evasion conviction that led to the discovery of explosives and booby traps on his property.

Edward Brown was originally sentenced to 37 years in prison on charges resulting from the standoff at his fortress-like home in Plainfield. Because of new legal precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, one of Brown’s convictions was no longer valid and he was entitled to be resentenced.

A judge resentenced Brown in 2020 to 25 years in prison. By then, he had already served 13 years, five for the tax conviction, followed by eight from the standoff, resulting in about 17 additional years in prison. He called it a “death sentence.”

Brown, now 79, would be 91 when he’s scheduled to be released from prison in June 2034. His wife, Elaine Brown, who admitted wrongdoing, was released in January 2020 after serving over 12 years.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit issued an opinion Wednesday rejecting Brown’s arguments that his sentence violated the double jeopardy and due process claims of the U.S. Constitution.

The court also rejected Brown’s arguments that the sentence was unreasonable because of the judge’s reliance on Brown’s antigovernment beliefs; his co-defendants received lesser sentences; his advanced age; and the total sentence was longer than necessary. The court also noted that Brown’s new sentence was “substantially below” the guidelines range.

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