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Robert Gist From MDC SHU Depicts Ineffective Assistance Now Briefing To Jan 26 in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 29 – Robert Gist is in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn - but he was transported for an in-person habeas corpus evidential hearing on December 8 in 500 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan. Inner City Press attended, in person.

  In large courtroom 23B, Gist sat in a plexiglass box answering questions first from his new Cleary Gottlieb lawyers, then from the US Attorney's Office. He insisted he was rushed into pleading guilty and was encouraged to lie and say he knew that Cicero Williams, whom he and his brother assaulted in the MCC on February 4, 2017 was a cooperating witness.

  After his plea, on which Inner City Press aims to have more, he got 77 months from Judge Woods. Now that is in question. After the two and a half hour hearing, Judge Woods asked for briefing on whether Gist's grandfather can testify in writing without it being hearsay, and for whatever subpoena returns come from the MCC. Here was the live tweeted thread, here and below

Now on December 29 from Judge Woods, this: "On December 29, 2020, after receiving a response to his subpoena on the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Mr. Gist submitted additional briefing in support of his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition to vacate his conviction and sentence. Dkt. Nos. 844-45. Mr. Gist alleges, inter alia, that the Government failed to produce material exculpatory evidence, in violation of its obligations under Brady v. Maryland. The Government has requested leave to respond to Mr. Gist’s arguments. Dkt. No. 848. The Government is directed to respond to Mr. Gist’s supplemental brief no later than January 19, 2021. The Government is further directed to provide the Court with a status update as to whether Mr. Gist has returned to his home facility in Thomson. Mr. Gist’s reply to the Government’s opposition is due no later than January 26, 2021." Inner City Press will continue to cover this case.

From December *: Gist is in plexiglass box, mask off. US Marshal stands just outside box. Judge Gregory Woods is masked. CJA Eric Goldsmith, who urged Gist to take plea, is not looking good in Gist's testimony. The plea, also on front of Judge Woods, was rushed...

Gist says AUSA gave Goldsmith a piece of paper at the last minute with what Gist had to say. [Echoes of US v Ahuja & Shor before Judge Failla ] Gist just said his "allocution was not accurate." Calls PSR a PSI. Waiting for AUSA cross

 Gist pled to asssulting a cooperating witness, Cicero Williams - but says that wasn't his motive. Goldsmith urged the plea, saying he could argue more at sentencing. Gist got 77 months.  To Inner City Press, it seems Judge Woods wants to hear of pressure on Gist

 Marshal examines binder of exhibits before it goes into Gist's (plexiglass) witness box. It has earlier variations of plea deal.  The narcotic at issue here was marijuana.

AUSA: Were you satisfied with Goldsmith? Gist: No. AUSA: So you lled to the court?  [This might be more effective with a jury. But here, Judge Woods will be finder of fact.]

Now Judge Woods asks about Gist's conversation with his grandfather, about appealing the 77 month sentence.

Next was Goldsmith, called by the government to make the plea look good. It wasn't a good look. Watch this site.

 On November 25 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York  Judge Gregory H. Wood held a pre-hearing proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.   

Judge Woods thanked the parties for convening on short notice for this, the his last proceeding before Thanksgiving (there was another proceeding going on in the SDNY, which Inner City Press covered to 7 pm, here). 

  Judge Woods directed the parties to a decision from famed SDNY Judge Learned Hand, and said he will do everything possible to hold this hearing on December 8.

On November 27 Judge Woods entered an order giving the US Attorney's Office until November 30 to submit a letter brief about the proposed exhibits for the December 8 hearing. Issues include Robert Gist's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel by Aaron M. Goldsmith, including that he "spent only a short time going over the Plea Agreement" and "did not mention that the Plea Agreement included an appeal waiver or explain what that meant."

  After late on November 30 a SDNY Chief Judge Colleen McMahon Standing Order suspended most in-person proceedings (Inner City Press on November 30 reported it here), on December 2 Judge Woods issued this: "ORDER: On November 30, 2020, Chief Judge McMahon issued a standing order suspending in-person operations in the Southern District of New York until January 15, 2021. For the reasons discussed on the record during the November 25, 2020 conference principally, the fact that the petitioner is currently incarcerated in the SHU, and the substantial questions regarding the timing and methodology for any remote proceeding the Court has determined that the December 8, 2020 proceeding should proceed. The Court has confirmed that the proceeding may be conducted within the framework established by the standing order. The parties should be prepared to proceed as scheduled. The hearing will take place on December 8, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 23B of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007. The parties are directed to provide the Court with a list of the witnesses they intend to call during the hearing, and whether those witnesses will be testifying live or remotely, by no later than December 3, 2020. The parties are reminded that they must test the Skype videoconferencing technology with any witness who is expected to appear by remote means." We'll have more on this.

The case is Gist v. US, 19-cv-5095 (Woods)


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