United States District Court, D. Nebraska
M. Bazis United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for a
Complex Case Designation and to Exclude Time Under the Speedy
Trial Act. (Filing No. 50.) This motion has been
fully briefed and is now ripe for disposition.
motion requests that this case be given a complex case
designation. The motion indicates the government does not
object to the complex case designation, which the government
confirmed to the Court in an in-chambers conference held on
February 28, 2019, as well as is its response brief
(Filing No. 59).
motion also requests that the Court give him until September
4, 2019 to prepare and submit mitigation evidence to the
United States Attorney. The motion further asks that the
Court order the United States Attorney to wait to submit his
recommendation and accompanying paperwork regarding the death
penalty to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal
Division of the Department of Justice until the government
receives Defendant's mitigation evidence. Defendant argues
that doing so will allow the Capital Review Committee to have
all necessary information when making its decision regarding
whether the death penalty will be sought. The government
objects to this portion of Defendant's motion.
reasons explained below, Defendant's motion (Filing
No. 50) will be granted in part and denied in part.
November 20, 2018, Defendant was charged by a Complaint with
Arson in Indian Country. (Filing No. 1.) On December
11, 2018, Defendant was indicted on Arson in Indian Country.
(Filing No. 24.) On February 21, 2019, a Superseding
Indictment was filed against Defendant charging him with
Murder in Indian Country, Felony Murder in Indian Country,
Kidnapping Resulting in Death and Carjacking Resulting in
Death. (Filing No. 47.) Defendant was arraigned on
the Superseding Indictment on February 28,
Complex Case Designation
parties agree that this case should be designated as complex.
Defendant waived his speedy trial rights, on the record, on
February 28, 2019 during his arraignment on the Superseding
Indictment. The Court finds from the representations by
counsel for the parties that this case is so unusual and
complex due to the nature of the prosecution, the existence
of novel questions of fact and law, and the amount of
discovery, it would be unreasonable to expect adequate
preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial within
the time limits established by the Speedy Trial Act.
See 18 U.S.C. 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
government shall have until April 12, 2019 in which to
accomplish discovery provided for in Rule 16, Fed. R. Crim.
P., and shall adhere to the continuing duty to disclose such
matters pursuant to Rule 16(c), Fed. R. Crim. P. If after
compliance with Rule 16 there is necessity for the filing of
pretrial motions, they shall be filed by September 25, 2019.
Request for Time to Submit Mitigation Evidence
is requesting six months to submit his mitigation evidence to
the United States Attorney. The rules applicable to this
issue are the Department of Justice Manual regarding the
death penalty and the CJA Guidelines for Death Penalty Cases.
The DOJ protocols § 9-10.010 through 9-10.200 set forth
the policies and procedures for all federal cases in which a
defendant is charged, or could be charged, with an offense
subject to the death penalty. Section 9-10.030 provides that
the overriding goal of the review process is to allow proper
individualized consideration of the appropriate factors
relevant to each case. Section 9-10.080, which pertains to
non-expedited decisions, is the section specifically
applicable to this case. This provision provides:
In any case in which the United States Attorney or Assistant
Attorney General is contemplating requesting authorization to
seek the death penalty or otherwise believes it would be
useful to the decision-making process to receive a submission
from defense counsel, the United States Attorney or Assistant
Attorney General shall give counsel for the
defendant a reasonable opportunity to present information for
the consideration of the United ...