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United States v. Salad

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia

April 10, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
AHMED MUSE SALAD, Defendant

For Plaintiff: Benjamin L. Hatch, Brian J. Samuels, Joseph E. DePadilla, Assistant United States Attorneys, Norfolk, VA.

For Salad, Defendant: Larry M. Dash, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Norfolk, VA; Claire G. Cardwell, Esquire, Richmond, VA.

OPINION

Page 596

MEMORANDUM ORDER

REBECCA BEACH SMITH, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter comes before the court on Defendant Ahmed Muse Salad's Motion for Continuance (" Motion" ), ECF No. 589, filed on March 22, 2013. The Motion, which co-Defendants Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Sheikh Abrar do not join, [1] asks the court to delay the trial for six to twelve months. Salad requests this time to develop evidence in support of his claim that his intellectual disability precludes imposition of the death penalty, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3596(c) and Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S.Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed.2d 335 (2002). [2] The Motion

Page 597

asks the court to suspend the deadlines set forth in the agreed Order Regarding Atkins Procedures, entered on February 22, 2013, and to schedule a hearing to determine a new timeline for the case. See Mot. at 1, 11. The United States filed a brief in opposition (" Response" ), ECF No. 590, on March 29, 2013. Salad filed a Reply, ECF No. 595, on April 3, 2013. The issue is now ripe for review. [3]

I. BACKGROUND

To place this request in context, the court first provides a brief synopsis of the scheduling process to date. Next, the court outlines the requirements for establishing a claim of intellectual disability and explains their relevance to the instant Motion.

A. Scheduling Procedures

Since the initial Indictment was filed in March 2011, the court has taken steps to accommodate the logistical challenges of this case without compromising the efficient administration of justice. The court has continued the trial date multiple times in response to changing circumstances of the case. See Order, Apr. 11, 2011, ECF No. 125 (certifying case as " complex" pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii) and continuing trial from May 17, 2011, to November 29, 2011); Order, July 20, 2011, ECF No. 267 (continuing the trial date generally in light of the superseding indictment, which contained death-eligible charges and special findings pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § § 3591-92).

On April 17, 2012, the United States filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty; the notice was unsealed on May 1, 2012. Thereafter, the court developed multiple detailed scheduling timetables, all in close consultation with counsel. See, e.g., Order, May 23, 2012, ECF No. 463 (discussing results of status conference and setting trial date of June 3, 2013); agreed Order for Motion Cutoff Dates, June 22, 2012, ECF No. 476; agreed Order Regarding Mental Health Evidence (" Mental Health Order" ), Sept. 18, 2012, ECF No. 508 (establishing notice deadlines and mental health evaluation procedures). Most relevant ...


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