“jonesing” for justice, Zach asks for a James Hearing UPDATED

One defendant, one Motion – probably the most polite Motion it ever took a dozen lawyers to write.

In James, the Fifth Circuit recognized the problems posed by a multi-conspirator case, where at times hearsay from one co-conspirator can prejudice another co-conspirator. It first acknowledged and then fashioned a procedure (the James hearing) to deal with the reality that it is virtually impossible to avoid prejudice arising from the constant repetition of inadmissible


The relevance and inadmissibility of all the evidence now hinges solely on its relationship to Zach Scruggs—no one else. Therefore, these central questions of law and fact—the James questions—are no longer unavoidable…


…there are only three factual episodes available to the Government for bridging this chasm, and as discussed in Defendant’s prior brief, those three episodes cannot come close to spanning the Rule 802 gap. The reason is simple: none of the episodes indicate –or even make it more likely—that Zach Scruggs knew of a conspiracy or of another person’s attempt to bribe a judicial official.

One of those episodes is an identified portion of the November 1 recorded conversation – one that inspired the title jonesing for justice. I’ll be back shortly with more about that.

UPDATED: Todd Graves, lead attorney for Zach Scruggs, filed two additional Motions – h/t folo – one for Continuance and the other Reconsideration of the Anonymous Jury.

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