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Young v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Dakota

July 10, 2013


Decided: July 9, 2013.

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Joseph Paul Young, Petitioner, Pro se, Jonesville, VA.

For United States of America, (202) 616-2904, Respondent: Jeffrey C. Clapper, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office (Sioux Falls, SD), Sioux Falls, SD.

For Timothy J. Langley, Interested Party: Timothy Joseph Langley, Federal Public Defender's Office, Sioux Falls, SD.


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On October 7, 2008, Petitioner Joseph Paul Young (" Young" ) was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on three counts of bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). United States v. Young, CR-08-40151-RAL, Trial Doc. 1. [1] Young was tried by a jury, convicted on all three counts, and sentenced to 216 months imprisonment on each count to be served concurrently. Trial Doc. 71. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed his convictions and sentence. United States v. Young, 644 F.3d 757, 759 (8th Cir. 2011).

Young has now filed a pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his conviction and sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Doc. 1. Young also filed a " Supplemental to Petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2255 'Ground 4,'" Doc. 6, that this Court construed as an amendment to Young's petition. See Doc. 10; Doc.11. The Government responded in opposition to Young's petition. Doc. 20. While the petition was pending, Young filed a Motion to Pose a Question, Doc. 24, requesting an update on the status of his petition. Young next filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Doc. 25. For reasons stated below, Young's petition under § 2255 and his Motion for Appointment

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of Counsel are denied, and Young's Motion to Pose a Question thereby is moot.


Young robbed three banks in South Dakota between August 13, 2007 and September 26, 2007. Young, 644 F.3d at 759. After these robberies in South Dakota in 2007, Young traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, and robbed more banks in August 2008. Trial Doc. 68. Young was arrested in his native Missouri, and sent to West Virginia for prosecution. Young also was suspected of committing two bank robberies in Minnesota and others in Kentucky. Trial Doc. 68. On October 7, 2008, while Young was in federal custody awaiting trial in West Virginia, a federal grand jury in South Dakota returned an indictment against Young for the three South Dakota bank robberies. Trial Doc. 1. Young pleaded guilty to the bank robbery in West Virginia and was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment on June 15, 2009. Trial Doc. 68. After being sentenced for his West Virginia conviction, Young was arrested in West Virginia on the South Dakota charges on June 29, 2009, transferred to South Dakota, and arraigned on August 11, 2009. Trial Doc. 3; Trial Doc. 8. Young subsequently was convicted in federal court in Minnesota on two counts of bank robbery and sentenced to 220 months imprisonment on each count to be served concurrently. See United States v. Young, 701 F.3d 1235, 1240 (8th Cir. 2012).

In the South Dakota federal case, Young was represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Timothy Langley (" Langley" ). Young's trial originally was scheduled for October 20, 2009. Trial Doc. 12. Langley sought four continuances. Trial Docs. 13, 17, 19, 31. The first continuance stemmed from Langley's need for additional time to investigate discovery that he had received. Trial Doc. 13. The second and third continuances related to additional discovery Langley requested. The second continuance was sought because the Government had not yet furnished the additional discovery, Trial Doc. 17, while the third continuance was sought because Langley needed additional time to review the discovery once it was produced, Trial Doc. 19. Langley filed an affidavit stating that Young provided him oral continuing consent to file continuances at their initial visit. Doc. 15 at 2, 6. According to Langley, Young told him to take as much time as needed to prepare, and Langley asked for the first three continuances based on Young's oral consent. Doc. 15 at 2.

Langley sent a letter to Young on May 24, 2010, after Young asked Langley whether Young's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was being violated by the continuances. Doc. 15 at 6. Langley recorded in the letter that Young had told him to take the time needed to prepare and that the continuances were needed because Langley had requested supplemental discovery. Doc. 15 at 6. Langley then cautioned Young that

these charges against you are not going to go away by means of a legal hat trick. I am also telling you that I have acted in good faith based on my instructions from you as I understood them at the time. Your Speedy Trial Act rights have not been violated. Nor will reasonable adjustments in scheduling of your trial based on good cause even now cause your Speed[y] Trial Act rights to be violated. However, if at any time your Speedy Trial Act rights are actually violated, you can be sure that I will not miss the violation or allow the violation to pass unnoticed.

Doc. 15 at 6.

After these first three continuances, Young withdrew his consent to further continuances. Doc. 15 at 2. After Young

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withdrew his consent, Langley felt forced to file a fourth and final continuance motion, Trial Doc. 31, to accommodate the trial testimony of the defense's expert witness and Langley's own trial schedule. Doc. 15 at 2; Trial Doc. 31. All motions for continuances Langley filed state that the defendant's consent and waiver of speedy trial rights form will be filed under separate cover, but no written consent form was filed. Trial Docs. 13, 17, 19, 31.

Young argues that Langley filed these motions for continuances against his will because Young never provided Langley oral continuing consent. Doc. 22 at 1-2. Young made three pro se filings while represented by Langley. The first pro se filing, Trial Doc. 21, was filed after the third continuance motion--timing consistent with Langley's affidavit as to when Young withdrew his consent. In this filing, Young requests new counsel for, among other reasons, Langley allegedly obtaining continuances after Young had told him not to do so. Trial Doc. 21. Young's second pro se filing was a Motion to Dismiss Indictment, Trial Doc. 23, that argued Langley's allegedly unauthorized continuances violated Young's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, a claim restated in this case. The third was a motion requesting new counsel, Trial Doc. 27, in which Young attempted to have Langley replaced because Langley believed that it was in Young's best interests to secure a plea bargain.

Young's jury trial on the South Dakota bank robberies began on August 23, 2010. The Government's case was built in large part on eyewitness identifications by bank tellers of Young as the robber and Young's physical resemblance to the robber in the surveillance video that each robbed bank produced. Doc. 15. Langley's defense centered on the Government's lack of physical evidence against Young and arguments that the identifications were flawed. Doc. 15; Doc. 21 at 12.

On August 13, 2007, at about 10:34 a.m., Young robbed a Valley Bank location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The bank robbery was captured on a video system at the bank. See Exs. [2] 1, 2A-C. Young approached a teller, announced to her that this is a bank robbery and demanded money. Young then demanded that the teller give him the big bills. Young had contact with a second Valley Bank teller during the robbery as well. Young wore an untucked plaid shirt and a baseball cap during the robbery. Exs. 1, 2A-C. When Young became a suspect one year later, the two tellers who had worked at Valley Bank separately were provided with a photographic line-up of six pictures and told that the bank robber may or may not be depicted among the photographs. One teller was unable to identify any of the people in the line-up as the suspect, while the other Valley Bank teller identified Young as the robber saying that she was eighty percent sure, although seeing Young in the courtroom during trial, that teller became one-hundred percent sure that Young was the man who robbed Valley Bank. See Ex. 3. In cross-examination, Langley brought out that the tellers had ...

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