UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WILLIAM THOMAS CR 87-62
ELLEN THOMAS CR 87-64
STEPHEN SEMPLE, AKA CR 87-61
GOVERNMENT'S REPLY TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION
FOR SENTENCING TRANSCRIPT
The United States of America, through its attorney, the
United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, hereby replies
to the Defendants' request for a transcript of the sentencing
This lengthy litigation has spawned various issues. Initially,
as this court recalls, the case was dismissed on First Amendment
grounds. The transcripts of the relevant hearings leading to the
court's action were ordered, and the matter was heard by the Court
of Appeals, which reversed this court.
The trial transcripts have thus far been prepared.
In addition, the Docket sheet of codefendant Philip Joseph,
case No. 87-63, reflects that this court approved on March 15,
1988, the preparation of the transcript of sentencing proceeding
at government expense in his case. This is the transcript which
is the subject of defendants' motion.
The undersigned has attempted on Friday, June 3, and Monday,
June 6, 1988, to speak to court reporter Frank Rangus to find
out whether the transcript of the sentencing has been prepared.
The undersigned was unable to contact Mr. Rangus.
Typically, the government takes no position as to whether
a litigant is entitled to a transcript at taxpayer's expense.
This determination is best left to the sound judgement of the
trial court. The law is well-established that "the State
must provide an indigent defendant with a transcript of prior
proceedings when that transcript is needed for an effective defense
or appeal." Britt v. North Carolina, 404 U.S. 226, 227 (1971).
However, this is not to say that the state is "required to
furnish complete transcripts so that defendants and their counsel
may conduct 'fishing expeditions' to seek out possible errors
at trial." Moore v. Wainwright, 633 F.2d 406, 409 (5th Cir.
1980) (citing Hines v. Baker, 422 F.2d 1002 (10th Cir. 1970)).
We are in no position to assert whether or not the transcript
of the sentencing proceeding has been prepared; whether it has
already been provided to codefendant Joseph; or whether Mr. Joseph
can be ordered to share or make available said transcript to the
WHEREFORE, despite our best efforts to be of assistance
to the court in addressing defendants' motion, we respectfully
must take no position on this matter.
(signed Jay B. Stephens) /mhd
JAY B. STEPHENS
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
MARK H. DUBESTER
MARK H. DUBESTER
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that a copy of this pleading has been
served by mail upon Ellen Thomas, 1440 N. Street, N.W. #410, Washington,
D.C., 20005, this 6th day of June, 1988.
(signed Mark H. Dubester)
MARK H. DUBESTER #339655