IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
October 25, 2006
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ARAFAT NIJMEH, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge
This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Continue Trial (Doc. 34). Defendant states that the Government has no objection to a continuance of the current trial setting of October 30, 2006. Defendant requests a continuance because the parties are currently in plea negotiations, which they anticipate will last into next week. Therefore, a continuance is necessary in order for the parties to have enough time to properly and effectively continue their discussions.
Considering whether to grant the continuance, the Court notes that the trial setting has been continued twice before, due to conducting a competency exam and hearing for Defendant, and then a later hearing on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Indictment and Motion to Suppress Statements. However, every defendant facing criminal charges against him has a right to a trial by jury or to plead to those charges. If the Court were to deny a continuance in the light of the ongoing plea negotiations, this could severely impact the outcome of these discussions which would be a manifest miscarriage of justice. Therefore, the Court finds that a continuance is necessary.
For the above state reasons, the Court finds that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A), the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and Defendant in a speedy trial. Therefore, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Continue (Doc. 25). The Court CONTINUES the JURY TRIAL scheduled for Monday,October 30, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. to Monday, November 27, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. The time from the date the original Motion to Continue (Doc. 34) was filed, October 24, 2006, until the date to which the trial is rescheduled, November 27, 2006, is EXCLUDABLE TIME for the purposes of speedy trial.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
David R. Herndon United States District Judge
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