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051810 Stanford Motion to Dismiss

051810 Stanford Motion to Dismiss

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Published by Tom Kirkendall
R. Allen Stanford's Motion for Release from Detention or Dimissal of Indictment based on Constitutional violations.
R. Allen Stanford's Motion for Release from Detention or Dimissal of Indictment based on Constitutional violations.

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Published by: Tom Kirkendall on May 19, 2010
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06/04/2010

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASHOUSTON DIVISIONUNITED STATES OF AMERICA §§§v. § CR. NO.4:09-342-01§§ROBERT ALLEN STANFORD §
DEFENDANT ROBERT ALLEN STANFORD’S MOTION FORRELEASE FROM DETENTION
 
OR DISMISSAL OF THE INDICTMENTBASED ON VIOLATIONS OF THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FIFTHAMENDMENT AND THE SIXTH AND EIGHTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITEDSTATES CONSTITUTION
 TO THE HONORABLE DAVID HITTNER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THESOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, HOUSTON DIVISION:COMES NOW Robert Allen Stanford, by and through his attorneys of record,
 
andrespectfully moves, pursuant to the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the UnitedStates Constitution, the Effective Assistance of Counsel and Speedy Trial Clauses of the SixthAmendment to the United States Constitution, the prohibition against excessive bail clause of theEighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 18 U.S.C. §3142, and 18 U.S.C. §3164,that this Honorable Court order Mr. Stanford released from detention forthwith on terms andconditions which will assure his appearance for trial, as addressed further herein.In
United States v. Salerno
, 481 U.S. 739, 746-47 (1987), while upholding the BailReform Act in 1987 against a substantive due process challenge, the Supreme Court observedthat there exists a “point at which detention in a particular case might become excessivelyprolonged, and therefore punitive, in relation to Congress’ regulatory goal.”
 Id.
at 747 n.4. Thatpoint has clearly been reached here. Moreover, Mr. Stanford’s continued detention will also
Case 4:09-cr-00342 Document 222 Filed in TXSD on 05/18/10 Page 1 of 37
 
2extinguish his right to a fair and speedy trial and deprive him of his Sixth Amendment right tothe effective assistance of counsel.
See
Sections I(B)(1)-(3),
infra.
Mr. Stanford’s continueddetention also violates his Eighth Amendment right not to be subjected to the imposition of excessive bail,
i.e.
, “[b]ail set at a figure higher than an amount reasonably calculated [to ensurethe defendant’s presence at trial].”
Stack v. Boyle
, 342 U.S. 1, 5 (1951). Indefinite detentionwithout release conditions when there clearly are conditions that will reasonably assure Mr.Stanford’s appearance as required must be regarded as constitutionally excessive bail.
See
Section I(D),
infra.
 Importantly, this motion does not simply seek reconsideration of the Court’s two priordetention decisions, each of which was affirmed on appeal, nor does it simply echo the statutorycontentions upon which each of the prior motions was founded. Instead, this motion is based onconstitutional as well as statutory principles such as those incorporated into the Speedy Trial Actand the Bail Reform Act. At its essence, this motion is based on due process imperatives, whichhave ripened after nearly one year of imprisonment, into a compelling basis for release based onthe extended duration of Mr. Stanford’s detention. This motion is premised on the obligation of counsel to illuminate ongoing constitutional violations and to seek judicial redress so that thoseviolations do not become irremediable obstacles to a fair trial, as the continued pretrialincarceration of Mr. Stanford will do if it is not abated without delay.Mr. Stanford had been detained for only a few weeks at the time of the Court’s initialdetention order, and at the time of the Court’s ruling on Mr. Stanford’s Motion forReconsideration of Order of Detention Due to Changed Circumstances (Doc. 172)(“ChangedCircumstances Reconsideration Motion”), the period of detention had been approximately six
Case 4:09-cr-00342 Document 222 Filed in TXSD on 05/18/10 Page 2 of 37
 
3months. This Court has not previously been asked to consider the issues as a constitutionalmatter involving detention of a predictable minimum of 
more than two years
from arrest throughtrial and based on a demonstrable record of prejudice to Mr. Stanford’s rights to adequatelyprepare for trial, as detailed herein. Many of the constitutional arguments addressed herein wouldhave been premature at the time of the earlier filings and are, accordingly, being raised for thefirst time in this motion. As such, this motion demands
de novo
decision-making and not simplyapplication of the standard under which motions for reconsideration of a prior adverse decisionare judged.Under the American system of criminal justice, cornerstone principles such as thepresumption of innocence are founded on the fundamental premise that punishment can occur, if at all, only after conviction by trial or guilty plea,
but never before
. In this case, that fundamental– and constitutionally mandated – paradigm has been turned on its head. For more than 200years, our justice system, following the Eighth Amendment prohibition of “excessive bail,”rejected concepts such as preventive detention.
See, e.g., United States v. Lawrence
, 4 CranchC.C. 518, 26 F.Cas. 887 (1835) (bail set for defendant who attempted to murder PresidentAndrew Jackson because the Constitution forbade requiring excessive bail). In 1984 Congressenacted the Bail Reform Act. Congress did so following a debate in which the Senate wasassured that 90 days of detention was the “worst case limit,” 130 Cong. Rec. S941 (statement of Senator Thurmond), and the “upper bound” of pretrial detention, 130 Cong. Rec. S943(statement of Senator Laxalt). Notably, one of the factors on which the
Salerno
Court relied inupholding the constitutionality of the detention provisions of the Bail Reform Act was that “themaximum length of pretrial detention is limited by the stringent time limitations of the Speedy
Case 4:09-cr-00342 Document 222 Filed in TXSD on 05/18/10 Page 3 of 37

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