Court upholds man's anthrax hoax conviction

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the five year sentence of a man who sent threatening letters to a federal judge in Nashville, including one containing a white powdery substance.
Herbert Wilfred Nixon pleaded guilty to making a false threat involving a biological weapon after sending the letters to Senior Judge Thomas Wiseman in 2002. Nixon sent the letters, one of which contained a harmless artificial sweetener, after Wiseman sentenced him to three years in prison for credit card fraud, the Chattanoogan reports.
“The unsigned letters demanded money and threatened the judge’s life,” Judge Raymond M. Kethledge wrote in the 6th circuit opinion, according to the Chattanoogan.
While federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 30 to 37 months, U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., sentenced Nixon to the statutory maximum of 60 months to send a strong message. Haynes also ordered that Nixon not have any contact with any postal service member during his three years of supervised release.
Nixon argued that the sentence was unreasonable, but the three judge appellate panel upheld the ruling. He also challenged the supervised release condition barring him from contact with any member of the postal service. The court disagreed again, saying that because Nixon used the postal service to commit his crimes, the condition was reasonably related to his offense. Nixon is not barred from using the postal service altogether.