Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend reading

1. Ben Kuehne. The feds decided to drop the obstruction count, but added a wire fraud count:

Federal prosecutors have added and subtracted charges in the money-laundering indictment brought against prominent Miami attorney Ben Kuehne and two others.
In a superseding indictment filed Friday, the Justice Department added a wire-fraud conspiracy count but dropped an obstruction of justice charge.

2. Trials. in 2007, the SDFLA had 155 trials, more than any other district, followed by SDNY (108), MDFL (108), SDTX(106) and WDTX(105). In fact, we had more trials than the entire 1st Circuit, and almost as many as the 3rd and 10th Circuits.

3. Libery City 7. Vanessa Blum examines why the government is having so much trouble in this case -- perhaps it was because they arrested too early:

The failure of federal prosecutors to convict any members of an alleged South Florida terror cell after two trials highlights the obstacles in a legal strategy of arresting terror suspects before they strike.That approach, known as preemption, has been the Justice Department's mandate since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, drove home the potentially lethal consequences of not acting soon enough to stop terrorism.But moving too quickly may have doomed the so-called Liberty City 7 case by leaving prosecutors without sufficient evidence to back up their sensational allegations that the men wanted to launch a ground war against the U.S. government.Violent rhetoric caught on tape from the group's leader and a grainy video of the defendants swearing an oath of allegiance to al-Qaida have not been enough to convince jurors the men were conspiring to join forces with the terror group and not, as defense lawyers argued, simply playing along in a scheme for money.

4. There is a white collar seminar in the Middle District coming up with some impressive speakers.


Anonymous said...

Looking at the numbers more closely, it appears that the districts with the highest percentage of trials within the 50 states is as follows:

1. District of Montana - 11.7%
2. E. Dist. of Oklahoma - 11.6%
3. District of Mass. - 10.5%

The Southern District of Florida had just 6.7%

Chico's Bail Bonds said...

I think you're interpreting the data table wrong. This looks to me like the data on CONVICTIONS, whether through pleas or a guilty verdict at trial. This does not memorialize the TOTAL number of criminal trials.

Also, the percentages represent the proportion of convictions by plea or by trial, not the proportion of conviction/trial by district.

Anonymous said...

"Chico's Bail Bonds" looks to be correct. The US Sentencing Commission report linked in the main post indicates that it analyzed over 72,000 cases "sentenced under the guidelines." That would necessarily exclude cases where there was a trial but the jury returned a not guilty verdict. And, of course, the report provides no information on civil trials.

Commodore said...

Has there ever been a civil trial in the SD of Fla?