The Court did not release any published criminal decisions today, but did issue four summary orders in criminal cases:
- United States v. Peña, No. 14-3837(L) (Katzmann, Lohier, and Droney)
The Peña brothers (Hector and Jose) were convicted after a jury trial of various counts relating to the murders of a drug dealer and others. The Court affirmed their convictions.
First, the Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Hector’s request to continue the trial date because of a scheduling conflict, even though that denial forced a change of lawyers and deprived the defendant of his counsel of choice. The Court noted the defendant’s interest in a speedy trial and the original lawyer’s failure to bring the scheduling conflict to the court’s attention in a timely manner. The Court further noted that the right to counsel of choice does not extend to defendants …