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UNITED STATES v. BUCK

May 17, 1985

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA against MARILYN BUCK, a/k/a "D", a/k/a "Carol Durant", a/k/a "Nina Lewis", a/k/a "Diana Campbell", a/k/a "Norma Miller", Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CANNELLA

ORDER

CANNELLA, D.J.:

 The Government's motion for pretrial detention is granted. 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (d) (1) (A) (ii), § 3142 (d) (2), § 3142 (e), § 3142 (f).

 PROCEDURAL HISTORY

 Defendant Marilyn Buck is charged in an eight-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, participation in a racketeering enterprise, armed bank robbery and three bank robbery killings as a result of her involvement in the escape of Joanne Chesimard from the Clinton, New Jersey Correctional Facility in 1979 and four armed robberies of armored trucks in New York and Connecticut from April 1980 through October 1981. A warrant for her arrest was issued on April 11, 1984 by Judge Milton Pollack.

 Ms. Buck was imprisoned in 1974 on a total sentence of ten years arising out of separate convictions in Arizona and California for utilizing false identification for the purchase of ammunition and a weapon. She was granted a furlough in 1977 from the federal correctional institution at Alderson, West Virginia to confer with her present counsel in New York, but failed to return to West Virginia. An arrest warrant was filed on July 5, 1977 by the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

 Ms. Buck was rearrested on May 11, 1985 in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Because Judge Kevin T. Duffy had presided over the "Brink's" trial, he took defendant's arraignment on May 13, 1985. Judge Duffy entered a not guilty plea for Ms. Buck after she refused to enter any plea. Transcript of May 13, 1985 [Tr. I] at 4. Judge Duffy also remanded defendant without bail pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (d) (1) (A) (ii). Tr. I at 5, 8, 10. On May 14, 1985, the Court, sitting as the Part One Judge, was informed by Judge Duffy that after due consideration, he could not treat the present indictment as a superceding indictment to the "Brink's" case, and that defendant's initial appearance should have taken place before the Part One Judge.

 The Bail Reform Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141-3150, contains two sections supporting pretrial detention of Ms. Buck -- 18 U.S.C. §§ 3142 (d) and 3142 (e). Section 3142 (d) applies when the arrested defendant is on a form of conditional release from another federal or state offense, 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (d) (1) (A) (ii), and the Court determines that the defendant may flee or pose a danger to another person or the community. 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (d) (2). When both of these conditions are satisfied, the Court must order the defendant temporarily detained for up to ten days -- not counting weekends and holidays -- and must direct the Government to notify the appropriate courts and law enforcement officials. If defendant is not taken into custody within ten days, she must be treated in accordance with the other provisions of the Bail Reform Act.

 Under section 3142 (e), the Court can order pretrial detention if, after a hearing pursuant to section 3142 (f), it finds that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant at trial and the safety of any other person and community. Section 3142 (f) provides that the Court must hold a hearing if the Government moves for a hearing and if the case involves, either (A) a crime of violence as defined by section 3156; (B) an offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death; (C) certain narcotics offenses; or (D) any felony, if the defendant already has two federal or equivalent state convictions for a crime of violence, a crime punishable by life imprisonment or a ten-year drug felony. 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (f) (1) (A)-(D). The Court must also hold a detention hearing upon the Government's motion in a case that involves a serious risk that the defendant will flee, obstruct justice, or intimidate prospective witnesses or jurors, 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (f) (2) (A), (B). The pretrial detention hearing mandated by section 3142 (f) must be held immediately upon the defendant's first appearance before the Court unless either the Government or the defendant asks for a continuance.

 It remains unclear if the Court's determination that a defendant may flee or pose a danger under section 3142 (d) (2) requires a full hearing. Additionally, it is questionable whether the Bail Reform Act "moratorium" created by a ten-day detention under section 3142 (d) is sufficient to trump the Government's request for a hearing pursuant to section 3142 (f).

 At the May 13 hearing, the Government requested Ms. Buck's detention under both section 3142 (d) and 3142 (e), (f). Tr. I at 5, 6, 10. The Government requested the latter mandatory hearing because the eight-count indictment charges a crime of violence under section 3142 (f) (1) (A) and there is adequate evidence that there is a serious risk of flight under section 3142 (f) (2) (A). Tr. I at 10. The Court notes that a section 3142 (f) (1) (B) hearing may also be required because counts five and eight of the indictment charge defendant with bank robbery killings in the Bronx, Nyack and Nanuet, New York, crimes punishable by death under 18 U.S.C. § 2113 (e).

 Judge Duffy decided to proceed only under section 3142 (d), finding that the Government's request for detention under sections 3142 (e) and (f) did not require a hearing at that time. Tr. I at 10-11. Although Judge Duffy did not make an explicit finding pursuant to section 3142 (d) (2), he found that Ms. Buck, as an escaped felon, was on conditional release pursuant to section 3142 (d) (1) (A) (ii). Tr. I at 8. Finding that this section necessitated mandatory detention, he remanded defendant without bail. Tr. I at 6, 7, 10. Although the Government has characterized the proceedings before Judge Duffy as a proper hearing "in essence", Transcript of May 16, 1985 [Tr. II] at 18, the colloquy between defendant's attorney and Judge Duffy after his remand order suggests otherwise. Tr. I at 10-11; see Tr. II at 6.

 On May 16, 1985, the Court, sitting as Part One Judge, held a hearing for purposes of case assignment, to decide whether to have a hearing on the Government's request for pretrial detention, and for arraignment de novo because of the "wrinkles" in this case. Tr. II at 2, 5, 12, 16. Defendant again refused to enter a plea because "as a captured anti-imperialist resistance fighter" she demanded a join trial witht the "allies" and "forces" of the New Afrikan Independence Movement. The Court thereafter entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf. Tr. II at 5.

 Recent orders of Magistrate Sharon E. Grubin and Judge Robert L. Carter released on bail eight defendants charged with conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery in connection witht he facts alleged in the present indictment. See United States v. Chimurenga, 760 F.2d 400 (2d Cir. 1985) (affirming orders). Additionally, the Second Circuit has strictly construed the Bail Reform Act to require a pretrial detention hearing immediately upon a defendant's first appearance before a judicial officer. See United States v. Payden, 759 F.2d 202 (2d Cir. 1985) (special exceptions to the first appearance requirement because of the timing and nature of a case could weaken the procedural fabric of the Bail Reform Act). Accordingly, the Court determined that the more prudent course was ...


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