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?

United States v. Mahdi

United States v. Mahdi, No. 03-3154, briefs filed (D.C. Cir.) -- Appellant and 15 codefendants indicted for conspiracy to distribute narcotics, RICO conspiracy, numerous counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute narcotics, several D.C. Code counts of assault with intent to commit murder while armed and related firearms charges, first-degree premeditated murder while armed and related firearms charges, several counts under 18 U.S.C. 1959(a) of committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and related firearms violations under 18 U.S.C. 924(c). Appellant, the only defendant who went to trial, was convicted on 48 of 49 counts. Appeal argues that the indictment charging both D.C. Code violent crimes and federal VICAR crimes was multiplicitous, that Appellant was deprived of his right to confront witnesses against him and to present a defense, that 18 U.S.C. 1959 is facially unconstitutional, and that his sentence for the D.C. violent crimes and the VICAR crimes violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Riley v. United States -- Issues

1. Whether, after formal charges were filed and Appellant asserted his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, police violated that right by reinitiating interrogation several times over a 12-hour period without counsel present, and eventually obtained a written confession which was placed in evidence at trial?
2. Whether the Trial Court violated Appellant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against selfincrimination by admitting into evidence at trial a confession obtained in lengthy custodial interrogation, where police coerced Appellant to waive his right to counsel and right to remain silent?

United States v. Sykes

United States v. Sykes, F 9723-95 - Denial of Fifth Amendment Right To Testify - Trial judge did not conduct a Boyd inquiry, and defendant asserted shortly after trial that he wanted to testify in his own defense, but was denied the opportunity to do so.