754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill. 1990), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews

Docket Nº:89 CR 908.
Citation:754 F.Supp. 1197
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Henry ANDREWS, Thomas Bates, Roger Bowman, Jeff Boyd, George Carter, Jackie Clay, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Jerome Crowder, Lawrence Crowder, Floyd Davis, William Doyle, Harry Evans, Eddie Franklin, Bernard Green, Charles Green, Henry Leon Harris, Earl Hawkins, Louis Hoover, J.L. Houston, Eugene Hunter, De
Case Date:December 04, 1990
Court:United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Northern District of Illinois

Page 1197

754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill. 1990)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,

v.

Henry ANDREWS, Thomas Bates, Roger Bowman, Jeff Boyd, George Carter, Jackie Clay, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Jerome Crowder, Lawrence Crowder, Floyd Davis, William Doyle, Harry Evans, Eddie Franklin, Bernard Green, Charles Green, Henry Leon Harris, Earl Hawkins, Louis Hoover, J.L. Houston, Eugene Hunter, Derrick Kees, Isiah Kitchen, Alan Knox, Sammy Knox, Roland Lewis, Felix Mayes, Melvin Mayes, Walter Pollard, Derrick Porter, Noah Robinson, Michael Sardin, James Speights, Anthony Sumner, Freddie Elwood Sweeney, Melvin Tillman, Edward Williams and Ricky Dean Williams, Defendants.

No. 89 CR 908.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.

Dec. 4, 1990

Page 1198

William Hogan, Ted Poulous, Asst. U.S. Attys., Chicago, Ill., for U.S.

Gary Ravitz, Chicago, Ill., for Henry Andrews.

Robert Clarke, Chicago, Ill., for Thomas Bates.

Edna Selan Epstein, Chicago, Ill., for Jeff Boyd.

Sheldon Nagelberg, Chicago, Ill., for George Carter.

Victor Pilolla, Oak Park, Ill., for Edgar Cooksey.

David Thomas, Chicago, Ill., for Andrew Craig.

Carl Clavelli, Chicago, Ill., for Jerome Crowder.

Standish Willis, Chicago, Ill., for Lawrence Crowder.

Marianne Jackson, Chicago, Ill., for William Doyle.

Rick Halprin, Chicago, Ill., for Charles Green.

Jim Epstein, Chicago, Ill., for Louis Hoover.

Chris Averkiou, Chicago, Ill., for J.L. Houston.

Robert Raab, Chicago, Ill., for Isiah Kitchen.

Marc Kadish, Chicago, Ill., for Alan Knox.

James A. McGurk, Chicago, Ill., for Sammy Knox.

Keith Spielfogel, Chicago, Ill., for Roland Lewis.

Ron Clark, Chicago, Ill., for Felix Mayes.

Marty Agran, Chicago, Ill., for Derrick Porter.

Page 1199

Adam Bourgeois, Chicago, Ill., Robert F. Simone, Philadelphia, Pa., for Noah Robinson.

James Graham, Chicago, Ill., for Michael Sardin.

Ron Bredemann, Park Ridge, Ill., for James Speights.

Rick Jalovec, Chicago, Ill., for Freddie Elwood Sweeney.

June Fournier, RFD Long Grove, Ill., for Melvin Tillman.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ASPEN, District Judge:

On November 6, 1990, the defendants' motions to sever this action were granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 14. However, we temporarily stayed execution of the order to consider proposals from any of the parties to improve the severance plan outlined in the Court's opinion. For the following reasons and the reasons set forth in United States v. Andrews, 754 F.Supp. 1161 (N.D.Ill.1990) (" Andrews I "), we confirm our November 6, 1990 order granting severance, but revise the plan in the manner outlined below.1

I. Background

The 175-count, 305-page indictment, returned on October 6, 1989, names thirty-eight defendants and alleges well over 250 factually separate criminal acts committed over a time span of more than twenty years. A single, mammoth trial of these diverse crimes--a mega-trial--would last a year or more and require the attendance of more than one hundred witnesses, dozens of court and security personnel, and over twenty defense attorneys. Based on the undesirable prospect of such a trial and the consequent likelihood of severance, we long ago began to consider the difficulty of developing a coherent scheme to sever the indictment's monolithic and twisted maze of charges and defendants. Because at any time prior to trial the government is the only party with complete knowledge of the evidence that it intends to present, we sought its assistance in devising an efficient and effective severance plan.

On May 10, 1990, we issued an order requesting the government to

propose a plan to sever this case into several trials (by defendants and/or counts) in the event the defendants' motions to sever are granted ... [and to] consider whether the interests of justice would be adequately served by limiting the prosecution of individual defendants to charges that can be proven expeditiously and that, in the event of conviction, carry exposure to maximum penalties.

Cf. United States v. Casamento, 887 F.2d 1141, 1152 (2d Cir. 1989) (district court should request government input when severing mega-trial), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 933, 110 S.Ct. 2175, 109 L.Ed.2d 504 (1990). In its May 31, 1990 brief vigorously opposing severance, the government declined this request to propose a plan. It stated that "despite great discussion and diligent consideration of the Court's directive, [the government] is unable to present feasible suggestions which would appreciably shorten these proceedings even if they were severed in some form." Government's Brief at 43. The government then went to great lengths to show that, due to the wide-ranging and overlapping offenses of the defendants, an efficient severance plan was not feasible. Id. at 43-47. It additionally argued that the difficulties of the proposed single trial were overstated by the defendants. Id. at 29-35. Later, at a pretrial conference on August 31, 1990, we again requested suggestions from the government regarding an appropriate severance plan and asked it to consider dismissing some of the counts. The government also declined this invitation to propose a plan. Instead, it continued to insist that the trial could only be

Page 1200

tried as indicted and flatly stated that it would not dismiss any counts.

Thus, on November 6, 1990, without input from the government, we granted severance and devised a severance plan that separated the defendants into five non-overlapping groups. But, to ensure that the plan fairly reflected the legitimate interests of all the parties, we temporarily stayed execution of the order to consider suggested improvements to our severance plan consistent with our stated goals.

On November 9, 1990, the government filed a motion for continuance of the stay to allow it more time to submit an alternate severance plan. Surprisingly, in this motion, the government states that it had "always recognized the manageability problems caused by this case," and that it had long been willing to " 'participate in the formulation of a severance plan.' "2 Government's Motion, at 1 n. 1 (quoting Andrews I, at 1181). Notwithstanding our unequivocal requests for a proposed government plan and our repeated concerns about the difficulties of a joint mega-trial, the government also suggests that it waited to submit a meaningful severance proposal until the Court granted severance and "provided guidance on this matter."3 Id. These assertions are not at all consistent with the government's previous unwavering conduct and, quite frankly, we find them somewhat disingenuous. In any event, the government now has recognized, as it should have when the indictment was returned on October 6, 1989, that the responsibility for returning a "sane" indictment is first and foremost on its shoulders. See Andrews I, at 1179.

Now, more than a year after the indictment's return, after stonewalling this Court for many months, after being confronted with the imminent possibility of a severance plan being imposed upon it, and after "discovering" the manifest difficulties of a single trial, the government finally offers an extensive and detailed plan of its own. Remarkably, this proposed plan, submitted only a week after the Court granted severance, is indeed a "feasible suggestion [ ] which would appreciably shorten these proceedings." Government's Brief at 43 (May 31, 1990). Also, despite its earlier refusals to do so, the government proposes the dismissal of dozens upon dozens of counts and RICO racketeering acts. In its suggested Trial One, it proposes the dismissal of fifty counts and eleven murder conspiracies. In its suggested Trial Two, it proposes the dismissal of seven murder conspiracies and numerous narcotics offenses. In its suggested Trial Three, it proposes to drop every single violent racketeering

Page 1201

act against nine defendants and to rely instead solely upon narcotics-related racketeering acts to obtain RICO convictions. The violent racketeering acts the government is willing to dismiss at Trial Three include fourteen murder conspiracies, in which five defendants are charged with eleven or more acts, one defendant is charged with five, and another defendant is charged with four.

To the government's credit, its proposed plan is a good faith and largely successful effort to divide this immense case into manageable and fair trial units. We commend the government for this effort.4

II. Severance Plan

A. Plan Overview

The plan that the government proposes...

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11 practice notes
  • 769 F.Supp. 1039 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 909, United States v. Bingham
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 13 Agosto 1991
    ...903 F.2d 1084 (7th Cir.1990); United States v. Henry Andrews, et al., 754 F.Supp. 1161 (N.D.Ill.1990) (severance order), revised at 754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill.1990) (Two separate trials are presently proceeding before District Judges Aspen and [2] The Seventh Circuit in United States v. McAn......
  • 754 F.Supp. 1206 (N.D.Ill. 1990), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 28 Diciembre 1990
    ...OPINION AND ORDER ASPEN, District Judge: The United States has moved for reconsideration of our Andrews II order of December 4, 1990, 754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill.1990) which adopted, with certain revisions, the bulk of the government's proposed changes to the severance plan outlined in our An......
  • 764 F.Supp. 1252 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 0908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 24 Abril 1991
    ...have designated them, in order of issuance, as follows: November 6, 1990-- Andrews I, 754 F.Supp. 1161; December 4, 1990-- Andrews II, 754 F.Supp. 1197; December 28, 1990-- Andrews III, 754 F.Supp. 1206; and January 23, 1991-- Andrews IV (citation not yet [2] The non-specific acts are the r......
  • 764 F.Supp. 1248 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 23 Enero 1991
    ...1206, which granted in part the government's motion to reconsider our final severance order issued December 4, 1990 ( Andrews II ), 754 F.Supp. 1197. 1 The government's instant motion concerns that portion of Andrews III that vacated our Rule 403 rulings subject to renewed consideration of ......
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11 cases
  • 769 F.Supp. 1039 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 909, United States v. Bingham
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 13 Agosto 1991
    ...903 F.2d 1084 (7th Cir.1990); United States v. Henry Andrews, et al., 754 F.Supp. 1161 (N.D.Ill.1990) (severance order), revised at 754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill.1990) (Two separate trials are presently proceeding before District Judges Aspen and [2] The Seventh Circuit in United States v. McAn......
  • 754 F.Supp. 1206 (N.D.Ill. 1990), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 28 Diciembre 1990
    ...OPINION AND ORDER ASPEN, District Judge: The United States has moved for reconsideration of our Andrews II order of December 4, 1990, 754 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D.Ill.1990) which adopted, with certain revisions, the bulk of the government's proposed changes to the severance plan outlined in our An......
  • 764 F.Supp. 1252 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 0908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 24 Abril 1991
    ...have designated them, in order of issuance, as follows: November 6, 1990-- Andrews I, 754 F.Supp. 1161; December 4, 1990-- Andrews II, 754 F.Supp. 1197; December 28, 1990-- Andrews III, 754 F.Supp. 1206; and January 23, 1991-- Andrews IV (citation not yet [2] The non-specific acts are the r......
  • 764 F.Supp. 1248 (N.D.Ill. 1991), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Northern District of Illinois
    • 23 Enero 1991
    ...1206, which granted in part the government's motion to reconsider our final severance order issued December 4, 1990 ( Andrews II ), 754 F.Supp. 1197. 1 The government's instant motion concerns that portion of Andrews III that vacated our Rule 403 rulings subject to renewed consideration of ......
  • Free signup to view additional results