Parnell’s challenge to his prison sentence is now an appeal to the 11th Circuit

Savannah lawyer Amy Lee Copeland has filed a Discover of Enchantment for Stewart Parnell’s movement to vacate, put aside or right his sentence below a federal habeas corpus motion.

Parnell’s Movement was denied Sept. 23 by the trial choose, W. Louis Sands, who upheld the additionally detrimental findings of Justice of the Peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff, who heard public testimony from Parnell’s trial attorneys in Might 2021.

Sands and Langstaff are each assigned to the District Courtroom for the Center District of Georgia. Copeland has appealed Sands’s denial of Parnell’s movement to the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit which is predicated in Atlanta.

Parnell is the 68-year-old former peanut trade govt who 13- years in the past was caught delivery peanut butter and paste that he knew had been contaminated, which in flip had been decided to be the supply of a lethal multiple-state Salmonella outbreak.

For the previous three years, Parnell has sought to overturn his conviction and sentence with a federal habeas corpus attraction. On this attraction, he has argued his imprisonment is illegal as a result of he was denied efficient counsel on the time of his trial in 2014.

Parnell is at present serving time on the federal lockup at Hazelton, WV, which inmates name “Distress Mountain.”

Parnell, as soon as president of the now-defunct Peanut Company of America, was indicted in 2013 for quite a few federal felonies. All prices concerned the 2008-09 multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that sickened hundreds in not less than 46 states and should have contributed to 9 deaths in Idaho (1), Minnesota (3), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), and Virginia (2). 

After a 34-day trial in 2014, a Center District federal jury discovered Parnell responsible of all however one depend of wire fraud. For the numerous responsible counts, together with fraud and conspiracy and introducing adulterated and misbranded meals into interstate commerce with intent to defraud amongst quite a few different felonies, Parnell was sentenced in 2015 to twenty-eight years in federal jail to be adopted by three years of supervised launch.

The identical outbreak was largely answerable for Congress in late 2010 passing the Meals Security Modernization Act, which President Obama signed on Jan. 4, 2011.

Parnell did attraction his conviction to the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the eleventh Circuit, however the trial court docket’s findings had been upheld. That left Parnell with solely the habeas corpus motion left to pursue.

Parnell filed the 2255 Movement on Sept. 6, 2019, alleging 1) infective help of his trial counsel as a result of counsel failed to maneuver to vary the venue and didn’t strike a juror for trigger and a pair of) these two errors constituted structural error.

Parnell additionally requested for an evidentiary listening to, which the Justice of the Peace choose permitted and carried out throughout two days in Might 2021. Parnell was taken to that listening to in federal custody by U.S. Marshals.

Protection attorneys from the historic 2014 jury trial supplied testimony throughout the evidentiary listening to, however Justice of the Peace Langstaff didn’t hear something that prompted him to assume that Parnell’s authorized counsel was inadequate. In April, he mentioned Parnell’s movement ought to be denied.

By means of his attorneys, Parnell filed “well timed” objections to Langstaff’s report, leaving the ultimate say to Decide Sands, who was additionally the 2014 trial choose who sentenced Parnell in 2015. Since that trial, Sands turned a senior-status choose in Georgia’s Center District.

Sands discovered that Parnell failed to indicate that his protection legal professionals did something unreasonable in not going for a change of venue or that the choice prejudiced him. Parnell’s protection workforce determined to not pursue a change of venue and it was an inexpensive selection, Sands and Langstaff each agreed.

Parnell additionally argued that at trial his protection workforce didn’t strike sure jurors for trigger, however Sands says the petitioner fails to make that case as properly. “Within the Advice, Decide Langstaff discovered that counsel determined to not transfer to strike jurors who heard about deaths as a result of jurors expressed that they may very well be neutral and counsel believed that transferring to strike them could be futile,” Sands wrote in his denial.

Sands additionally didn’t approve there being any appealability of his closing order. Nonetheless, a Movement 2255 attraction could be granted by the appellate court docket.

If the eleventh Circuit finds Parnell’s sentence was not licensed by regulation, or that there was a denial or infringement of his constitutional rights, it should do one of many following:

  • vacate and set the judgment apart and free him.
  • vacate and put aside the judgment and resentence him,
  • grant a new trial, or
  • right the sentence.

Michael Parnell, Stewart’s brother and co-defendant within the 2014 jury trial continues to attend for Sand’s determination on his Movement 2255.

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