United States v. Douglas, No. 06-0581-cr (2d Cir. May 13, 2008) (Kearse, Katzmann, CJJ, Rakoff, DJ)
Douglas was convicted of killing a Brink’s employee while attempting to steal money from Citibank ATMS that were serviced by Brink’s. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Douglas had originally been appointed a federal defender. But, once he was indicted on a death-eligible charge, the federal defender requested the appointment of a second attorney, “learned counsel” under 18 U.S.C. § 3005, and the court granted the request. About six months later, the government announced that it would not seek the death penalty, but Douglas asked the court to keep both attorneys on the case. The court rejected the request, but allowed Douglas to choose the attorney he wanted. On appeal, he renewed the claim that he was entitled to two attorneys under 18 U.S.C. § 3005.
The circuit disagreed. The statute, which provides …