IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
November 10, 2008
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
EDWARD R. VRDOLYAK, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Government counsel has correctly noted that this District Court's LR 54.2, which deals with the inability to commence a scheduled jury trial where the panel of prospective jurors has already reported to the courthouse for the voir dire, extends to a change of plea in criminal cases as well as to the more common situation where parties have settled or otherwise resolved a civil case. In the civil case situation, the cost of the panel is normally assessed against both parties, each bearing one-half of the aggregate expense. But in the criminal case situation, the law would appear to place the burden on the defendant alone, both because the decision to forgo trial--the waiver of a constitutional right--is committed to the unfettered judgment of the defendant and, relatedly, because an affirmative decision in that respect in an important component of the acceptance-of-responsibility credit in calculating the defendant's advisory Sentencing Guideline range.
Accordingly defendant Edward Vrdolyak is ordered to pay the entire $5,923.59 cost of the prospective jury panel (comprising both juror fees and mileage charges) to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Payment is ordered to be made on or before November 21, 2008.
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