United States v. Mahdi -- Issues

1. Whether the Trial Court violated the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment where the indictment included 17 multiplicitous substantive counts and three multiplicitous conspiracies embedded within a RICO conspiracy and the Judge did not require the government to elect between prosecuting Appellant Abdur R. Mahdi under 18 U.S.C. §§1959 and 924(c) or nearly identical D.C. Code provisions, or, at a minimum, failed to identify the D.C. Code violations on the verdict form as lesser-included offenses to be considered by the jury only if it acquitted Appellant of the greater crimes or failed to reach verdicts on the greater charges despite their best efforts?

2. Whether the Trial Court violated Appellant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against him by refusing to order the government to identify numerous bad acts and uncharged crimes it either intended to elicit from cooperating codefendants or that might come out in cross-examination of government witnesses, effectively preventing defense counsel from aggressively cross-examining those witnesses because counsel never had the opportunity to investigate or prepare to rebut the witnesses’ allegations?

3. Whether Appellant was deprived of his right under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to present a complete defense where the government asserted that nearly anyone the defense might call as a witness was an unindicted co-conspirator who would assert the privilege against self incrimination; where the Trial Court refused to press the government to grant witnesses immunity or to limit cross-examination; where the Trial Court excluded testimony that contradicted key cooperators and demonstrated their bias, and where the Trial Court refused to enforce Appellant’s right to compulsory process?

4. Whether 18 U.S.C. §1959 is facially unconstitutional or unconstitutional as applied in this case because Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by enacting the statute, which punishes violent acts within the law enforcement jurisdiction of the states and which have no direct effect on interstate commerce?

5. Whether Appellant must be resentenced because his convictions on numerous federal charges and lesser-included D.C. Code violations violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and because the Trial Court violated the Sixth Amendment by applying the mandatory Federal Sentencing Guidelines in calculating his sentence, including in the calculation facts not found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt?

 

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