Editors note: Scruggs counsel compares his plight for home detention with Joey Langston. Langston cooperated with the Government. Scruggs most assuredly did not and still remains defiant.
PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR HOME DETENTION PRIOR TO AND DURING THE HEARING
Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court order that Petitioner be confined in
his home in Oxford and then a hotel in Aberdeen, with appropriate electronic monitoring if
necessary, during the preparation for and the pendency of the upcoming hearing.
This Court has ordered that the U.S. Marshall’s Office transport Petitioner “by the
most direct and shortest” route to appear before the Court by 10:00 am on March 26. D.E.
168. Petitioner’s counsel has made arrangements with the Marshall’s Office to have
Petitioner brought to the Lafayette County jail approximately ten days prior to confer with
his attorneys and review documents in preparation for his hearing. His attorneys have
established a dedicated workspace in Oxford, Mississippi, which contains hundreds of
pages of documents relating to the underlying civil case of Wilson v. Scruggs and the
original criminal case. Arrangements have been made so that Petitioner will then be
transferred to the Monroe County jail for the actual hearing in Aberdeen.
The Government understands that it is difficult to consult with a key witness who is in
county lockup, with its rigid policies concerning visitation and strict limitations on the
number of documents a prisoner may have in his possession. In order to make Joey
Langston more readily available to the Government attorneys to prepare him to serve as a
witness in hearings for David Zachary Scruggs’s post-conviction motion, the Government
requested that Joey Langston be assigned to home detention for this very purpose. See Exh.
A, Order of J. Michael Mills, 1:08-cr-00003, Doc #: 45 (“The Government asserts that home
detention will facilitate all sides who need access to the defendant in related cases and that
home detention would save the taxpayers money.”) The Court granted that request. Id.
See also Doc #46 (modifying the order).
Likewise here, if Petitioner is incarcerated in the county jails, it will unduly interfere
with his ability to review the reams of pertinent documents and will make it unduly
difficult for his attorneys to consult with him as they prepare for his hearing. Petitioner
merely requests that he be detained in his own home during prehearing preparation and in
a hotel in Aberdeen, Mississippi during the hearing. Other than travelling to and from the
court and his attorneys’ offices, Petitioner will otherwise remain detained. He will take his
meals in the home, hotel, or attorneys’ workspaces.
The Fifth Circuit has recognized that “incarceration and home detention are alternative
punishments.” U.S. v. Ferguson, 369 F.3d 847, 850 (5Th Cir,2004). Prior to a trial on the
merits, it is common for a defendant to be altogether released on bail. “In a number of
instances it has been held, under the particular circumstances that the court had the power,
pending determination of a habeas corpus proceeding on the merits, to admit the petitioner
to bail[.]” 56 ALR 2d 668 §1. In Levy v. Parker, 396 U.S. 1204 (1969), Justice Douglas held
that, although the district court, the court of appeals, and the circuit justice had all denied
bail, since the applicant had raised “substantial issues” on appeal, he should be granted bail
until the full court could pass on the application. In this Motion, Petitioner is notrequesting outright
release on bail, but instead the more modest relief that would facilitate
his preparation for the upcoming hearing.
Petitioner was on bond without incident the entire time before his voluntary
surrender. See Exh. B., 3:07-cr-00192-NBB-SAA Doc #: 12 (J. Alexander setting terms for
release on bond). Petitioner voluntarily submitted himself to incarceration and has now
served the bulk of his time, even if habeas relief is denied. Just as Petitioner’s pretrial
release presented no real flight risk, his current request for home and hotel detention
present no risk. Petitioner’s Bureau of Prisons security classification is "community
custody,” which is the lowest level possible, permitting him to work out in the community
with only civilian supervision.1
Accordingly, Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court order that he be
detained to his home and hotel during his stay in Mississippi, prior to and during the hearing in this Court.
Respectfully submitted, this 12th of March, 2012.
/s/Edward D. Robertson, Jr.
Posted March 12, 2012 - 10:51 am