DOJ wants federal judge to deny motion for early release for Stewart Parnell

DOJ wants federal judge to deny motion for early release for Stewart Parnell

The way the Department of Justice sees it, the once main executive officer of the now-defunct Peanut Company of The united states is a keeper.

Govt counsel would like the Middle District of the U.S. District Court in Ga to deny a movement to vacate, established aside, or suitable his sentence. A denial implies Stewart Parnell, 67, very likely will be saved in federal jail for an more 18 several years or right until he is 85-years previous.  He is at this time being held at the Hazelton federal jail in Bruceton Mills, WV.

The DOJ Purchaser Security Branch submitted its reaction Oct. 8 to Parnell’s submit-listening to transient, continuing its vigorous opposition to the former peanut executive’s 2255 Movement for early release.

“Petitioner has failed to satisfy his burden,” DOJ trial attorney Speare I. Hodges wrote in the reply temporary. “The prolonged demo file and much more the latest testimony from petitioner’s trial counsel and other folks do not aid his ineffective support claim. The court must deny the petitioner’s movement.”

Hodges supplied this “brief procedural historical past:”

  • “On Sept. 19, 2014, adhering to a 7-week demo, the jury identified petitioner guilty for his purpose in a scheme to ship peanut products that analyzed optimistic for salmonella or or else ended up produced below insanitary situations. ECF 285.
  • On Oct.6, 2014, petitioner submitted a movement for a new demo, alleging that juror misconduct prejudiced his suitable to a honest trial. ECF 308. As relevant to this scenario, petitioner alleged that several jurors done outdoors research, jury users talked over salmonella-connected fatalities allegedly brought about by his firm, and 1 unique juror, Juror 34, was biased. The demo courtroom held two hearings on the situation, calling in every chosen juror for particular person questioning. ECF 397 at 13-14. The courtroom finally identified “no indication that any juror concealed harbored bias[,]” that Juror 34 was in reality “biased” toward petitioner’s co-defendant, and that any juror information of deaths was not remarkably prejudicial supplied the “overwhelming” evidence in opposition to the petitioner introduced at demo.
  • On Sept. 30, 2015, the district courtroom sentenced petitioner to a total term of imprisonment of 336 months (28 a long time). ECF 498. Petitioner up coming appealed his conviction and sentence, exclusively boosting the jury misconduct issue, amid other people. 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 instantaneous petition together with a movement for an evidentiary hearing. ECFs 667-68. The court held an evidentiary listening to on May perhaps 24-25, 2021, listening to testimony from petitioner’s four previous demo counsel, Kenneth Bryant Hodges, Thomas J. Bondurant, Scott Austin, and Justin Lugar a local peanut broker, James Thomas Strother and demo counsel for petitioner’s co-defendant, Ed Tolley.”

The DOJ quick says that to prevail on a claim of powerful counsel, a defendant ought to exhibit the counsel’s illustration was deficient and that deficient illustration was prejudicial. It states the petition would have to show sensible specialist functions or omissions have been missing

“Petitioner argues that his trial counsel designed two mistakes that deprived him of his Sixth Amendment correct: (1) “failing to shift the Court for a improve in the venue” and (2) “failing to go to strike for trigger venirepersons who read that deaths experienced been attributed to the salmonella outbreak,” Hodges wrote. “But the history does not help petitioner’s claims that the actions of his trial counsel constituted glitches at all — allow alone that they fulfill Strickland’s prerequisite to display the result of his trial would have been different. Accordingly, petitioner’s motion should really be denied.”

Early in his brief, Hodges knocks down Parneel’s argument that the defendants could not get a good jury trial in Albany, GA.  He writes

  • “Petitioner unsuccessful to clearly show his counsel rendered ineffective guidance simply because accepting location in the Albany Division did not prejudice him and was objectively sensible.

Location transfer is ruled by Federal Rule of Legal Course of action 21, which instructs that a “court ought to transfer the continuing . . . to another district if the court is contented that so good a prejudice versus the defendant exists in the transferring district that the defendant simply cannot get a good and impartial demo there.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 21(a). In this circumstance, petitioner argues his demo counsel delivered ineffective support in failing to move for a transfer for the reason that he would have fulfilled the ‘extremely heavy’ stress to demonstrate the location was presumptively prejudiced. See Coleman v. Kemp.”

  •  Petitioner unsuccessful to display he would have prevailed on a motion to transform location.

Petitioner’s write-up-listening to short alleges no new facts in assistance of his declare that his trial counsel would have satisfied the demanding authorized normal to exhibit presumed prejudice. The Eleventh Circuit has designed very clear that this stress “is an exceptionally heavy one particular,” and presumed prejudice is, for that reason “rarely applicable and is reserved for an extreme problem.”

In the U.S. v. Campa, the Supreme Courtroom has pointed to a number of variables that may constitute presumed prejudice: (1) the dimensions and features of the community in which the criminal offense happened (2) no matter whether news contained blatantly prejudicial info that jurors “could not reasonably be envisioned to shut from sight” (3) irrespective of whether “the decibel amount of media attention” did not diminish all through the operate-up to the trial, and (4) no matter if “the jury’s verdict did not undermine in any way the supposition of juror bias.” Skilling v. the United States, 561 U.S. 358, 380-85 (2010). Even if such information assist presuming prejudice, the presumption is rebutted when “the district court’s mindful and thorough voir dire, as well as its use of prophylactic steps to insulate the jury from outdoors influences, ensured that the defendant obtained a honest demo by an neutral jury.”

The government’s 22-webpage brief goes on to argue that the media climate in the Albany, GA, area foremost up to the 2014 jury trial was “predominantly factual.”  And the South Ga peanut industry noticed the impacts of the Salmonella outbreak as momentary. And, the demo did not arise until finally 5 yrs just after the outbreak.

Also, the govt argues that “the verdict undermines any suggestion of juror bias” in that all three defendants who went to trial were being acquitted of at minimum a single rely. “It would be illogical to think that the jurors reserved their biases entirely for the petitioner,” Hodges claimed.

Article-hearing briefs and the in-human being hearing transcripts all go to Justice of the peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff, who will make recommendations to the Center District Court docket.

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