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Two weeks out from the evidentiary hearings that would see a federal Justice of the Peace vacate their convictions and sentences, the Parnell brothers have traded witness and exhibit lists with authorities attorneys. The hearings, held beneath 28 U.S.C. § 2255, starting on Might 24 for Stewart Parnell and Might 27 for Michael Parnell are each being held earlier than U. S. Justice of the Peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff for the Center District of Georgia.
A Center District jury in 2014 convicted the brothers on a number of federal felonies stemming from the lethal 2008 multistate Salmonella outbreak that was traced to a Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant owned and operated by the now-defunct Peanut Company of America. Stewart Parnell was PCA’s chief govt and Michaele Parnell was a peanut dealer.
The brothers have served about six years of the sentences they obtained in 2015 — 28 years for Stewart and 20 years for Michael. If on the Might hearings one or each of the brothers could make a “substantial exhibiting of the denial of a constitutional proper,” they could possibly be freed.
Stewart Parnell, 66, and Michael Parnell, 62, aren’t at the moment within the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, probably as a result of they’re in transit by federal Marshals to Albany, GA, for his or her court docket appearances. They’ve been held individually at federal prisons in West Virginia and New Jersey.
For the primary listening to, on behalf of Stewart Parnell, protection attorneys Amy Levin Weil of Atlanta and Amy Lee Copeland of Savannah have offered a witness checklist with 4 names: E. Scott Austin, Thomas J. Bondurant, Ken Hodges and Justin Lugar.
All 4 served as Stewart Parnell’s protection group throughout the authentic jury trial. Austin, Bondurant, and Lugar had been from Gentry Locke in Roanoke. Hodges, who has since been elected to the Georgia Courtroom of Appeals, was working towards legislation in Atlanta. And Lugar is now an assistant U.S. Legal professional for Georgia.
Stewart Parnell’s attorneys, Amy Weil and Amy Copeland imagine their consumer was denied efficient counsel at and across the authentic trial. Arguments round ineffective counsel are generally made in Movement 2255 hearings.
The federal government additionally has these 4 attorneys on its witness checklist.As well as, nonetheless, it plans to name Edward D. Tolley and Devin Hartness Smith, Michael Parnell’s trial attorneys, and Thomas G. Ledford, the Albany lawyer the court docket appointed to signify Mary Wilkerson, PCA’s high quality management officer. She was convicted of 1 depend of obstruction of justice and served 5 years.
Weil and Copeland have produced an exhibit checklist with a Gentry Locke price, bill, and price and value entries together with numerous electronic mail chains involving jury choice and the attainable use by the protection of a jury guide.
At his Movement 2255 listening to, Michael Parnell is represented by Charlottesville, VA ,protection lawyer Elliott M Harding. Each he and the federal government’s attorneys have submitted their witness lists, however the court docket has not launched them to the general public. Each of their exhibit lists for the Michael Parnell listening to run into a number of pages.
Harding, who practices solo, has gained the appropriate to unseal Voir Dire transcripts from the trial. The Justice of the Peace granted Harding entry to the paperwork for the course of the Movement 2255 listening to. “The voir dire transcripts shall stay confidential, with the data therein reviewed solely by counsel, their authorized and assist employees, and the events,” Langstaff’s order says.
“The voir dire transcripts and the data contained herein shall solely be used for functions related to the decision of this pending 2255 Movement.” Langstaff additional ordered all copies of the transcripts together with different paperwork containing data from the transcripts destroyed by all events on the finish of the Movement 2255 proceedings.
In breaking these transcripts free, Harding reminded the Justice of the Peace about Michael Parnell’s Movement 2255 petition. “Three of the issues raised in Mr. Parnell’s petition concern jury prejudice,” he stated. “Mr. Parnell’s first declare includes trial counsel’s failure to strike jurors for trigger attributable to their data of deaths that had been reportedly the results of meals contamination through salmonella. A 3rd declare includes trial counsel’s failure to analyze the difficulty of whether or not jurors had been improperly prejudiced by the revelation of deaths involving salmonella as soon as counsel was made conscious of this allegation post-trial.”
Langstaff has served because the Justice of the Peace Decide for Georgia’s Center District since 2010. He dealt with some pre-trial points within the PCA felony case. He additionally dominated that the Movement 2255 petitions filed by the Parnells had been adequate to go to a listening to.
On Nov. 10, 2008, the CDC’s PulseNet employees first famous a small and extremely dispersed multistate cluster of 13 Salmonella Typhimurium isolates with an uncommon DNA fingerprint or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) sample reported from 12 states. By April 20, 2009, 714 individuals in 46 states had been confirmed with the outbreak pressure of Salmonella Typhimurium related to the PCA facility Blakely, GA. 9 deaths had been a direct results of the outbreak, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Mary M. Englehart, trial lawyer for the Division of Justice Client Safety Department, will probably be returning to Albany for the Movement 2255 hearings. She, together with Patrick Hearn and Alan Dasher, was a part of the DOJ trio of attorneys that gained the convictions on the 2014 jury trial. Englehart will probably be joined by Speare I. Hodges, who moved from being an Assistant U.S. Legal professional in Virginia to the Client Safety Department at principal Justice.