Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday news & notes

1. Who wants to go to Pakistan? Apparently the defense does in what was dubbed the "Pakistani Taliban" case when it was filed lots of publicity but which seems much different now.

Jay Weaver covers the government's opposition here:  

Two South Florida Muslim clerics — a father and son separated by more than 50 years in age — are struggling to persuade a Miami federal judge to allow their lawyers to travel to Pakistan to question alleged Taliban sympathizers who might help their defense against terrorism charges. Lawyers for Hafiz Khan and Izhar Khan, former imams of mosques in Miami and Margate, have already lost their first bid to travel with federal prosecutors to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to take depositions from five witnesses who do not want to come to Miami to testify at the upcoming trial. Among the potential witnesses are two other Khan family members and another suspected Taliban supporter who were accused in the same case of conspiring to aid the Taliban with money and guns. 

Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola rejected the defense’s initial deposition plan — which was strongly opposed by federal prosecutors — as “unsafe and impractical.” But Scola left open the possibility for the defense’s alternative: allowing the Khans’ lawyers to question the witnesses at a hotel such as the Marriott in Islamabad in a live, videotaped deposition with the prosecutors participating from Miami. “If there is a way for you to take their deposition, I’m going to let you do it,” Scola said, setting the stage for a final hearing Oct. 29. The clock is ticking, however, because the “material-support” trial that initially drew national headlines is scheduled for early January. Bottom line, the defense said: No deposition, no fair trial.

 2. How much time should Rajat Gupta get? He went to trial and was convicted. The government is asking for 97-121 months and the defense is asking for probation.

 The trial penalty has become so absurd in our system. Gupta, I'm sure, was offered very little or no jail time if he had pleaded guilty.

 Does he really deserve 10 years because he went to trial? My prediction is that Judge Jed Rakoff sentences him to 36 months.

Here's the Bloomberg article on the case. If you are interested in the sentencing memos, you can check them out here.


Anonymous said...

maybe he deserves ten years because he is guilty and deserves it? have you considered that?

Rumpole said...

This is the predominant problem in criminal law today- the trial tax. My advice to lawyers is that when your client rejects the plea and the prosecutution goes through their little tap dance of withdrawing the offer, ask them on the record to articulate the reasons why a plea on Monday is not an acceptable sentence on Thursday assuming the client is convicted. Box them into clearly punishing your client for having the audacity to go to trial.

Anonymous said...

weaver is a tabloid writer, mouthpiece for the US attorney's office. Be wary of dealing with him.

Anonymous said...

No less than 6 years for Gupta.

Anonymous said...

Beware: 1132's self serving comment was made by none other than Mike Tein, who obviously has a problem with Weaver's coverage of his misconduct.