Over the objections of the government, a federal judge has again put off the racketeering trial of Ronald "Joey" Sellers, the reputed leader of the Aryan Warriors white supremacist prison gang.
Sellers was indicted back in July 2007, along with more than a dozen of his imprisoned associates.
All of the other defendants have been convicted, but Sellers, who claims to have a failing liver as a result of contracting hepatitis C in prison, has been in federal custody waiting to go to trial.
Much of the delay can be attributed to the government’s effort to seek the death penalty for him. The racketeering case involves allegations of murder within the state prison system.
After two years of debate within the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. informed Sellers in August that the government would not ask that he be put to death if convicted.
U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson had been planning to have the case tried on Jan. 10, but Sellers’ lawyer, First Assistant Federal Public Defender Michael Kennedy, decided that he now needed a delay.
Kennedy filed court papers arguing that he wasn’t able to focus on his client’s defense because he had spent all of his time in the case trying to fend off the government’s death penalty push.
So last month, Dawson granted Kennedy his wish, setting a new trial date of Nov. 14, 2011 — once more holding justice at bay.