Magistrate Judge (retired) Bernardo P. Velasco, Federal Prosecutor Zachary Wiest, 16 defense attorneys, 2 simultaneous interpreters, 3 US deputy marshals and a few other court officials
5-point shackles on all prisoners.
Judge Velasco was subbing for Judge Ferraro. He is know for his speed. Today he conducted a hearing from charges to sentence for 75 defendants in 50 minutes—40 seconds for each defendant. He does this by having all the 1325s—Illegal Entry—in the courtroom at once (and then the whole group of 1325-1326). He instructs groups of 8 very rapidly and then asks each defendant one (1) question—something like, ‘Damian Cruz, Do you understand your rights, the charges against you and the consequences of pleading guilty, wave your right to a trial and plead guilty to the charge of Illegal Entry into the US?’ (the answer is ‘yes’) You are a citizen of Honduras and on April 29, 2019 entered Arizona near Naco.’ Judge V. was going so fast I didn’t get this quite right. He does ask for comments and lawyers put Credible Fear requests on the record with very little elaboration.
At one point in this sprint there were two missing lawyers. This was pointed out by one of the lawyers standing with her clients and a couple of them stepped in to cover for their colleagues.
There were 75 migrants on the docket today including 7 women. I saw attorney Huerta in the hall talking to family members with young children so I assume at least one was an undocumented resident of Arizona. 48 prisoners were from Mexico, 10 from Honduras,7 from Guatemala, 4 from Ecuador and 3 from El Salvador. From west to east 18 people entered Arizona near Lukeville, 20 near Sasabe, 21 near Nogales, 5 near Naco and 4 near Douglas. 35 migrants were arrested the day they entered Arizona and 33 spent a total of 120 days in our desert before arrest. 2 people spent 2 weeks before arrest and most spent from 1 to 7 days. This becomes more and more deadly as our temperatures approach 100 degrees.
5 defendants were dismissed at the start of the proceedings. 3 of these and two others were making Credible Fear claims with few additional comments.
Celenia Orellana Pineda 19-27416MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) from Honduras. Time served.
Segundo Manuel Quizhpi Buestan 19-27438MP (Atty Juliana Ore Giron) a Q’eqchi (?) speaker from Guatemala. Dismissed.
Nicolas Perez Giron 19-27439MP (Atty Peter Raptis) a Tzotzil speaker from Chiapas. Dismissed.
Segundo Marcelo Cahuenas Chancusi 19-27456MP (Atty David Maldonado) from Ecuador. Time served.
Jose Luis Campos Cantu 19-27434M (Atty Kevin Lerch) from Guatemala. Dismissed.
26 prisoners were sentenced to 1305 days of incarceration in federal prison as part of a plea bargain after the charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal (1326) was dropped.
No observers other than one GV Sam.
- Katrina Schumacher