DOJ wants federal resolve to deliver circulation for early free up for Stewart Parnell

DOJ wants federal resolve to deliver circulation for early free up for Stewart Parnell
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The reach the Division of Justice sees it, the once chief govt officer of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of The us is a keeper.

Authorities counsel wants the Middle District of the U.S. District Court in Georgia to deliver a circulation to vacate, set aside, or merely his sentence. A denial reach Stewart Parnell, 67, seemingly will seemingly be stored in federal jail for an further 18 years or till he is 85-years venerable.  He is for the time being being held on the Hazelton federal jail in Bruceton Mills, WV.

The DOJ Individual Safety Division filed its response Oct. 8 to Parnell’s submit-listening to brief, persevering with its sharp opposition to the old long-established peanut govt’s 2255 Motion for early free up.

“Petitioner has failed to meet his burden,” DOJ trial attorney Speare I. Hodges wrote in the acknowledge brief. “The lengthy trial story and extra most common testimony from petitioner’s trial counsel and others attain now now not give a purchase to his ineffective support dispute. The court docket must deliver the petitioner’s circulation.”

Hodges supplied this “brief procedural history:”

  • “On Sept. 19, 2014, following a seven-week trial, the jury stumbled on petitioner guilty for his role in a device to ship peanut merchandise that examined toddle for salmonella or in another case maintain been produced under insanitary instances. ECF 285.
  • On Oct.6, 2014, petitioner filed a circulation for a brand new trial, alleging that juror misconduct prejudiced his right to an even trial. ECF 308. As relevant to this case, petitioner alleged that several jurors conducted outdoor analysis, jury contributors mentioned salmonella-connected deaths allegedly introduced on by his firm, and one explicit juror, Juror 34, was biased. The trial court docket held two hearings on the arena, calling in each and every selected juror for particular particular person questioning. ECF 397 at 13-14. The court docket in the raze stumbled on “no indication that any juror hid harbored bias[,]” that Juror 34 was actually “biased” toward petitioner’s co-defendant, and that any juror knowledge of deaths was now now not highly prejudicial given the “overwhelming” evidence in opposition to the petitioner presented at trial.
  • On Sept. 30, 2015, the district court docket sentenced petitioner to a total time duration of imprisonment of 336 months (28 years). ECF 498. Petitioner next appealed his conviction and sentence, particularly raising the jury misconduct arena, among others. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed his conviction and sentence on June 20, 2018. The United States v. Parnell,
  • On Sept. 6, 2019, Parnell then filed the instant petition alongside with a circulation for an evidentiary listening to. ECFs 667-68. The court docket held an evidentiary listening to on Would possibly per chance per chance well also merely 24-25, 2021, listening to testimony from petitioner’s four old fashioned trial counsel, Kenneth Bryant Hodges, Thomas J. Bondurant, Scott Austin, and Justin Lugar; a neighborhood peanut dealer, James Thomas Strother; and trial counsel for petitioner’s co-defendant, Ed Tolley.”

The DOJ brief says that to prevail on a dispute of efficient counsel, a defendant must recount the counsel’s representation was miserable and that miserable representation was prejudicial. It says the petition would must recount lifelike loyal acts or omissions maintain been lacking

“Petitioner argues that his trial counsel made two errors that disadvantaged him of his Sixth Amendment right: (1) “failing to lunge the Court for a alternate in the venue” and (2) “failing to lunge to strike for place off venirepersons who heard that deaths had been attributed to the salmonella outbreak,” Hodges wrote. “However the story does now not give a purchase to petitioner’s claims that the actions of his trial counsel constituted errors the least bit — let on my own that they meet Strickland’s requirement to recount the  of his trial would maintain been totally different. Accordingly, petitioner’s circulation must be denied.”

Early in his brief, Hodges knocks down Parneel’s argument that the defendants would per chance now now not get hang of an even jury trial in Albany, GA.  He writes;

  • “Petitioner failed to recount his counsel rendered ineffective support as a result of accepting venue in the Albany Division did now not prejudice him and was objectively lifelike.

Venue transfer is governed by Federal Rule of Legal Blueprint 21, which instructs that a “court docket must transfer the persevering with . . . to 1 more district if the court docket is contented that so mountainous a prejudice in opposition to the defendant exists in the transferring district that the defendant can not fabricate an even and fair trial there.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 21(a). On this case, petitioner argues his trial counsel supplied ineffective support in failing to lunge for a transfer as a result of he would maintain met the ‘extraordinarily heavy’ burden to recount the venue was presumptively prejudiced. Interrogate Coleman v. Kemp.”

  •  Petitioner failed to recount he would maintain prevailed on a circulation to alternate venue.

Petitioner’s submit-listening to brief alleges no new info in give a purchase to of his dispute that his trial counsel would maintain met the aggravating right long-established to recount presumed prejudice. The Eleventh Circuit has made clear that this burden “is an extraordinarily heavy one,” and presumed prejudice is, in consequence of this fact “rarely acceptable and is reserved for an gross train.”

In the U.S. v. Campa, the Supreme Court has pointed to several factors which will constitute presumed prejudice: (1) the size and characteristics of the neighborhood by which the crime happened; (2) whether data contained blatantly prejudicial knowledge that jurors “would per chance now now not reasonably be anticipated to shut from spy”; (3) whether “the decibel diploma of media attention” did now not diminish at some stage in the speed-up to the trial, and (4) whether “the jury’s verdict did now not undermine in any reach the supposition of juror bias.” Skilling v. the US, 561 U.S. 358, 380-85 (2010). Even supposing such info give a purchase to presuming prejudice, the presumption is rebutted when “the district court docket’s careful and thorough voir dire, moreover to its direct of prophylactic measures to insulate the jury from outdoor influences, ensured that the defendant purchased an even trial by an fair jury.”

The authorities’s 22-page brief goes on to argue that the media local weather in the Albany, GA, predicament main up to the 2014 jury trial was “predominantly merely.”  And the South Georgia peanut exchange seen the impacts of the Salmonella outbreak as non permanent. And, the trial did now not happen till five years after the outbreak.

Also, the authorities argues that “the choice undermines any suggestion of juror bias” in that all three defendants who went to trial maintain been acquitted of on the least one rely. “It will seemingly be illogical to evaluate that the jurors reserved their biases solely for the petitioner,” Hodges acknowledged.

Put up-listening to briefs and the in-particular person listening to transcripts all lunge to Justice of the Peace Get Thomas Q. Langstaff, who makes strategies to the Middle District Court.

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