Speedy Trial

The Federal Docket

United States v. Hoskins (2d Cir. August 2022)

The Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s order acquitting a defendant of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, holding that the defendant, who worked for a U.K. subsidiary of a U.S. company involved in bribing Indonesian officials, was not an “agent” or employee” of the U.S. company under common law. The Court also held that the defendant’s speedy trial rights were not violated by a 6-year delay and that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury on withdrawal from a conspiracy and proving venue in a case involving money transfers through multiple states.

United States v. Pikus (2d Cir, June 2022)

The Second Circuit reversed a defendant’s conviction after holding that the district court should have granted the defendant’s motions to dismiss, which were based on the government’s violation of his right to a speedy trial. The Government caused a delay of over three and a half years, and the district court erroneously excluded time from the speedy trial calculations merely because the case was “complex,” which was insufficient.

United States v. John Gayden (11th Cir. October 2020)

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a defendant doctor’s conviction and sentence for operating a “pill mill.” Among other things, the Court held that a physician does not have standing to challenge the search of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program because they do not have a privacy interest in their prescriptions. The Court also held that dismissal of the indictment, obtained five years after the defendant’s clinic shut down, was not warranted because the defendant could prove prejudice but not that the government engaged in any deliberative conduct to gain a tactical advantage over him.

SCOGA suspends 90-Day indictment requirement, allowing indefinite detention

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that the judicial emergency orders suspending and tolling deadlines in criminal cases also suspended the statutory rule under O.C.G.A. 17-7-50 that a defendant denied bond is entitled to release if the state does not indict him within 90 days. The ruling effectively allows indefinite pretrial detention, but the Court left the door open for constitutional challenges.

United States v. Demontae Bell (7th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held that the officer violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment right by opening his phone after the defendant’s arrest, where the officer saw a picture of a firearm, but affirmed the district court’s denial of the motion to suppress under the independent source doctrine, since the officers had already seen the picture on another occasion, and since there was probable cause notwithstanding the tainted picture.

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