Sunday, March 22, 2020

"One … Trial Carries on While the Rest of the Justice System [in Southern Florida] Has Shut Down"

By Eugene Volokh - March 22, 2020 at 04:35PM

David Oskar Marcus (SDFLA Blog) reports (thanks to Howard Bashman at How Appealing for the pointer):

As districts around the country issue orders postponing trials and as we await Chief Judge Moore's order continuing all trials until after 4/27, there is one trial in Broward federal court that is pushing forward.

It's one of the sober home (health care fraud) cases, U.S. v. Sebastian Ahmed.  The government is alleging $21 million in fraud….

The defendant is in custody so the marshals have to bring him back and forth each day.

And the 12 jurors plus alternates have sit in the jury box without social distancing.

The trial started back on February 20 and was only supposed to last 3 weeks.  On Monday, they will start week 6 of the trial!  The defendant testified for a few days last week. And the parties closed on Friday.

I understand that the defense has moved a number of times for mistrial based on the virus, but those motions have been denied. I've been told that Judge Cohn asked the jurors if they wanted to continue and they said yes.

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