Several readers have recently commented about the likelihood that Keith Raniere will be filing various appeals reading his recent conviction on seven felony counts (I would actually label it “inevitable” rather than a likelihood).
Raniere himself has been telling his fellow inmates that he plans to get a whole new team of attorneys to pursue those appeals.
As noted in an earlier post, the issues that Raniere will likely raise on appeal include the following:
– the “incomplete” cross-examination of Lauren;
– the refusal of the prosecution to grant “safe passage” to Raniere’s Mexican witnesses – and the refusal of the presiding judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, to allow those witnesses to testify via closed-circuit television;
– the fact that victims were allowed to testify without revealing their last names whereas other witnesses had to provide their full names; and
– the fact that the prosecution was allowed to use evidence that it found at Raniere’s sex lair at 8 Hale Drive.
And, when all his issue-based appeals are rejected, Raniere will throw the ultimate “Hail Mary Prison Pass” – and claim that his four attorneys provided “ineffective counsel” before, during, and after his trial.
In preparation for all this, Raniere himself has been spending several hours per week in the Law Library at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Given how long he’s going to be in prison, he’ll have plenty of time to study the law.
He may even transform himself into a “jailhouse lawyer” – which would give him a much higher status in prison.
But, then again, there’s that 2.26 GPA – and his total reliance on “word salad” rather than logic.
Post-Conviction Motions Are Next
Long before his new legal team gets around to filing any appeals, Raniere’s current legal team will be filing a series of post-conviction appeals.
Although these motions generally have to be made within 14 days of a conviction, the defense has requested that the deadline for doing so be extended to July 30, 2019. Assuming that request is granted – which it will be – the prosecution will have until August 13th to respond.
While his lawyers may come up with some unique post-conviction motions – e.g., the trial should have been delayed to allow Keith to replenish his supply of yellow Post-It Notes rather than forcing him to switch to blue ones – these are usually pretty straightforward.
Motion For A New Trial
This type of motion is permitted per Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure – and allows the trial court to vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the interest of justice so requires.
If such a motion is based on newly discovered evidence that will exonerate the defendant, the deadline for filing it is 3 years from the date of the conviction.
Although it’s difficult to imagine that any “newly discovered evidence” will ever be found in this case, this means that we’re going to have to come up with a new designation for June 19, 2022.
We’ve already designated June 19th on our calendars as Vangone Day.
So, what special designation shall we give to June 19, 2022?
Motion For Judgment Of Acquittal
This type of motion is permitted per Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure – and, if approved, allows the trial judge to override the verdict of the jury and enter an Order of Acquittal in favor of the defendant.
Although it’s inconceivable that Judge Garaufis will grant such a motion, it’s expected that Raniere’s legal team will file one anyway.
Unless the judge suddenly ends up moving to his newly acquired island home on Wakaya Island, it should take him about 10 seconds to make a decision on this motion.
Raniere is likely going to be one of those prisoners who never accepts the fact that he was rightfully convicted on the charges against him.
He will thus spend a good part of his life in prison looking for a way out – kind of like a rat in a maze that has no exit points.
Raniere has never accepted responsibility for anything in life.
Not all the bogus stories he made up about his skills and talents.
Not his crappy grades at RPI.
Not his illegal Consumer’s Buyline, Inc. pyramid scheme.
Not all the crimes he committed while presiding over the NXIVM/ESP crime syndicate.
Not his total lack of ethics
Not all the people whose lives he ruined.