Wednesday, August 15, 2012

11th Circuit kicks Mathurin case on other grounds

This was the case that Judge Cooke ruled a 300 year mandatory sentence for a juvenile was unconstitutional.  Both sides appealed, and the Eleventh Circuit vacated the conviction on speedy trial grounds, and did not mention the sentencing issue.

The issue presented:

This case requires us to decide the narrow question of whether the time
during which plea negotiations are conducted is automatically excludable from the
Speedy Trial Act’s thirty-day window for filing an information or indictment. For
the reasons that follow, we have concluded that the time during which plea
negotiations are conducted is not automatically excludable.

From the conclusion:

We conclude that the time during which plea negotiations were conducted
was not automatically excludable from Mr. Mathurin’s speedy-indictment clock.
That being the case, the government exceeded the maximum thirty-day delay for
bringing the indictment. Under the Act, this means that the charges in the
superseding indictment, as originally set forth in the juvenile information and later
cited in the government’s motion to transfer, must be dismissed.7 See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3162(a)(1). Mr. Mathurin’s convictions must be vacated. However, “we leave it
to the District Court to determine in the first instance whether dismissal should be
with or without prejudice.” Zedner, 547 U.S. at 509, 126 S. Ct. at 1990.

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