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Third Circuit Delays Wecht Retrial

Double JeopardyIn an Order issued Thursday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has delayed the retrial of Dr. Cyril Wecht. By way of brief background, the jury in Wecht’s case (a case that I’ve previously stated needs to be canned by Main Justice) hung on all 41 counts against him.

Wecht’s counsel then filed a Motion to Dismiss based on Double Jeopardy grounds. The district court subsequently found that the attempt to delay a retrial on the basis of that claim would be frivolous and would not delay the retrial, jury selection for which was to start today. An immediate appeal followed, and the Third Circuit issued an Order putting the retrial on hold and setting a rather ambitious briefing schedule.

Raising a Double Jeopardy claim following the declaration of a hung jury is a reasonably dense legal issue, and I would be surprised if the Third Circuit can turn out its opinion within a month of the final brief, which is scheduled for May 20, 2008.

In the meantime, the trial judge has issued a deliberate and studious Order denying another motion to recuse.

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