Good morning from New York.
The judge recently ordered the parties to come up with a trial date today, but scheduling aside, will we also learn more about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged incident and suicide watch in MCC?
I’ll be covering the Epstein hearing live for @CourthouseNews.
Roughly an hour until the hearing, which begins on 11 a.m.
Given reports that Epstein's on suicide watch, this would be a good time to brush up on Bureau of Prisons guidance on this topic.
(Start on page 11 here) https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5324_008.pdf …
Not too many known details on Epstein's restrictions at MCC.
Speaking generally, many inmates on suicide watch must wear smocks like these, made of tough material that can't be contorted into a long, thin object. https://boingboing.net/2005/09/01/garments-for-potenti.html …
An ex-federal prosecutor told me about the suicide watch protocols: "It is a very, very degrading process, and that’s on purpose," adding it's meant to discourage attempts at self-harm and emphasize that it's not a ticket to better conditions.
It's commonly said that accused child abusers have a rough time in prison, but the ex-prosecutor added: "People don't frequently dig into why that's true."
"Part of the reason why that’s true is that so many of the people in the system are the products of abuse," he noted.
Fewer than five minutes until the hearing. General rumbling in the pews.
More on how the prison system is filled with victims of abuse.
"Rates of childhood and adult trauma are high among incarcerated persons."
Berman starts things off by asking about scheduling matters.
Prosecutor proposes a discovery deadline of Oct. 31 to complete discovery, with one limited exception.
Proposed trial date would be June 2020. Four to six weeks, carrying into July.
Epstein's counsel proposes trial after Labor Day 2020.
(Corrected the above tweet, as the defense clarified its position on a proposed date.)
Judge Berman said he could accommodate either proposal.
Prosecutor says that there's a public interest in bringing the trial as "swiftly as possible," but the government does have a concern about setting a September trial date.
"We do think it makes sense at this juncture to set a firm trial date," she says.
Judge Berman excludes time until June 8, 2020, but he says they will revisit the issue of trial scheduling in the future.
Oral argument for motions scheduled for Oct. 28, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Hearing adjourned without new details on the alleged incident.
Clarification: Berman excluded time from the speedy trial clock until June 8, 2020, in the event of a possible trial, but he did not explicitly call that a provisional trial date.
We'll learn more about exact timing in the future.
How did Jeffrey Epstein look today?
Fine, fine. My write-up on a double-byline with colleague @JRuss_JRuss here. https://www.courthousenews.com/epstein-looks-healthy-back-in-court-after-jail-incident/ …
You can follow @KlasfeldReports.
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