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.

United States v. Pettigrew

United States v. Pettigrew, 96-Cr.-336 - Apprendi Error - Jury convicted defendant of distributing an unspecified quantity of crack cocaine and distributing an unspecified quantity of crack cocaine within 1,000 of school. Judge sentenced defendant to 10-year sentence, saying he would have departed downward further if he had not been required to impose the mandatory-minimum term for distributing more than 50 gr. of crack.