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Traficant seeks to halt proceedings in his case



Published: Tue, May 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Traficant seeks to haltproceedings in his case

CLEVELAND -- U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. of Poland, D-17th, wants all proceedings halted in his case and asks that no jury trials take place in U.S. District Court here until his objection to the jury selection process is resolved. His sentencing for racketeering and tax evasion is set for June 27.

In a filing Monday, the congressman's Columbus lawyer, Percy Squire, restates his position that Traficant deserves a new trial because the jury selected by the current plan did not represent a cross section of the northern district. Instead, the plan increases the odds that jurors would come from the Cleveland area, Squire said.

The argument is not that jurors were not drawn from Youngstown, Squire said. "The issue of fair jury selection is of much greater importance than the prosecution of Congressman Traficant," Squire said. He says the current plan is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells now has Traficant's request for a new trial to consider, as well as the government's opposition and the congressman's response.




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