6th Amendment Violation.

Byline: Derek Hawkins

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Julian Thomas, et al.

Case No.: 18-1356; 18-1519

Officials: EASTERBROOK, KANNE, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.

Focus: 6th Amendment Violation

A federal grand jury indicted defendants Julian Thomas and James Thompson for robbing a bank. Count One charged them with armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2113(a) and (d). Count Two charged them with using and carrying a firearm by brandishing it during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c). A joint trial was scheduled but then delayed first at Thomas's request, and then again because Thompson's counsel faced an irreconcilable conflict of interest because of a newly discovered witness for the government. Shortly before the delayed trial, however, Thompson pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the government against Thomas. Thomas went to trial. The jury found him guilty on both counts and also returned a special verdict finding that Thomas aided Thompson's brandishing of a firearm in the bank robbery. The district court sentenced Thomas to thirteen years in prison for the bank robbery and a consecutive seven years (the statutory minimum) for aiding and abetting Thompson's brandishing.

Both defendants have appealed, but Thompson's attorney has filed an Anders brief explaining...

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