of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts
Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and
Kathleen A. Heaney, Sherburne County Attorney, Tim Sime,
Assistant County Attorney, Elk River, Minnesota, for
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Jessica
Merz Godes, Assistant Public Defender, Saint Paul, Minnesota,
J. Koewler, Ramsay Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Roseville, Minnesota,
for amicus curiae Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense
Small, Executive Director, Minnesota County Attorneys
Association, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Phillip D.
Prokopowicz, Chief Deputy Dakota County Attorney, Hastings,
Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota County Attorneys
person convicted of a controlled substance offense for which
the controlled substance weight threshold was increased by
section 3 of the Drug Sentencing Reform Act before his
conviction was final is not entitled to have the conviction
amelioration doctrine requires the resentencing of a person
whose conviction was not yet final on the effective date of
section 18(b) of the Drug Sentencing Reform Act.
Travis Richard Otto was sentenced to 135 months in prison for
first-degree possession of methamphetamine, Minn. Stat.
§ 152.021, subd. 2(a)(1) (2014). While his case was on
appeal, the Drug Sentencing Reform Act (DSRA) took effect.
See Act of May 22, 2016, ch. 160, 2016 Minn. Laws
576. The DSRA reduced the presumptive sentencing range under
the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines drug offender sentencing
grid, and increased the controlled substance weight threshold
for Otto's crime. Otto asks that we either reverse his
conviction or vacate his sentence and remand his case for
resentencing under the DSRA-amended sentencing grid.
August 1, 2013, Otto was arrested with five baggies of
suspected methamphetamine after crashing his vehicle into an
electrical pole. Two of the baggies were tested and contained
"over 29 grams" of methamphetamine. He was charged
with first-degree possession of methamphetamine and
fourth-degree driving while impaired. Otto waived his right
to a jury trial, and the district court found him guilty of
case proceeded to sentencing. Otto had a criminal history
score of 12. Under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines in
effect at the time of Otto's offense, his presumptive
sentencing range was 135 to 189 months. See Minn.
Sent. Guidelines 4.A (2013). On June 11, 2015, the district