United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MYRON H. THOMPSON, District Judge.
This cause is before the court on defendant Brian Kalvin Jackson, Jr.'s motion to continue made on June 24, 2014. The government does not oppose Jackson's request. For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that jury selection and trial, now set for June 30, 2014, should be continued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7).
While the granting of a continuance is left to the sound discretion of the trial judge, United States v. Stitzer , 785 F.2d 1506, 1516 (11th Cir. 1986), the court is limited by the requirements of the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161. The Act provides in part:
"In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs."
18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). The Act excludes from the 70-day period any continuance based on "findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial." § 3161(h)(7)(A). In granting such a continuance, the court may consider, among other factors, whether the failure to grant the continuance would "result in a miscarriage of justice, " § 3161(h)(7)(B)(i), or "[w]hether the case is so unusual or so complex... that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation" without granting a continuance. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
The court concludes that, in this case, the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweigh the interest of the public and Jackson in a speedy trial. Jackson has filed a notice of his intent to change his plea to guilty, and a change-of-plea hearing is set for today, June 25, 2014. However, Jackson was recently admitted to the hospital because of serious health concerns. The trial should be continued to allow time for Jackson to be discharged from the hospital and to attend a rescheduled change-of-plea hearing.
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Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
(1) Defendant Brian Kalvin Jackson, Jr.'s motion for continuance (Doc. No. 18) is granted.
(2) The jury selection and trial, now set for June 30, 2014, are reset for September 22, 2014, at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 2FMJ of the Frank M. Johnson Jr. United States Courthouse ...