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Lael Young Indicted amid Blanket Protective Order now Faces Jan 30 Trial Motion to Exclude

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 13 – Lael Young was arrested in March on the charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition. He was released on $25,000 bond.

On July 30 he was indicted on the same charge by a grand jury ostensibly in Manhattan.   On August 12 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abrams held an arraignment on the indictment. Inner City Press covered it.  

An issue that arose, as it has in other SDNY cases from US v. Balde to US v. Schulte, concerns how many of the grand juror were actually physically present.

In this case, Assistant US Attorney Christy Slavik that five of the grand juror appeared virtually, "by VTC." The issue continues. Inner City Press asked Acting US Attorney Attorney Audrey Strauss if ex-doctor Robert Hadden was indicted by a hybrid grand jury...

  The US v. Lael Young case next had another cross-cutting issue, which Inner City Press has covered for example before SDNY Judge Paul G. Gardephe, here: the US Attorney's Office requesting over-broad protective orders. From the September 17 transcript, as Young's lawyer Sabrina Shroff put it: "Mr. Young himself is not under any prohibition from talking about how his postarrest statement was taken. So, for example, between February and now, if he had made a movie and put it on YouTube and said, hey, you know, I was arrested, they told me to come down from my building, I came down, this cop kind of convinced me or took me upstairs, and then he put me in a room, and then he had me videotaped, they had a camera situated -- I don't have the discovery, so I am just making this all up. From February until now, Mr. Young was completely free to talk about every technique that that postarrest statement revealed.  A technique in and of itself is not good cause and does not rise to a need for protection. And what does it matter that it is at the discovery phase? There is no exception in the law that says you don't need to show good cause at discovery.  And I think Judge Gardephe, who was a federal prosecutor for a very long time, noted that all defense lawyers, especially institutional players, like Federal Defenders and people who are on the CJA panel, are very acutely aware that we are not to post anything on the Internet. We are not seeking to give the discovery to The New York Times. What we are seeking to do is make sure that Mr. Young can talk about his case, show his discovery to his fact witnesses, to anybody that he wants to discuss the case with, and there is nothing special about any of these techniques that are in play that are worthy of protection under the good cause element.."

AUSA Christine Slavik said, "I know in one recently litigated protective order in a case -- excuse me, in a recently litigated case where a protective order was litigated, there -- it was a trigger lock case, I believe, and the discovery materials had been produced in state court without a protective order. In that case, it seems to me that the materials had already been produced, and therefore a protective order wouldn't be necessary.  I just wanted to point out that Judge Gardephe's  opinion that I believe Ms. Shroff is referencing -- 

THE COURT: Yes, I read it."

Judge Abrams said, "I have an obligation to ensure that the  protection afforded to discovery information is no broader than is necessary to accomplish the proffered goals of the protective order, and it seems to me that a blanket protective order in this case is simply not necessary.  So I'm going to deny the motion for a protective order."

Jump cut to January 2023 - the trial is set for January 30, and on January 13 Young's counsel made a motion to exclude evidence about the narcotics investigation that led to a search of the defendants home.

The case is US v. Young, 20-cr-391 (Abrams)


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