Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Texas Prison is Technology Vortex, Allen Stanford Says

Can we even remember life before computers? Robert Allen Stanford, accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme and held in federal prison in Texas, has been forced to do so, and he doesn’t like it.

Charged with complicated financial crimes and behind bars, Stanford claims to be residing in a technology vortex reminiscent of the 1970s - one he says makes it impossible to assist his lawyers by reviewing evidence.

Stanford complained in an Aug. 11 court filing that he does not have access to the Internet and various other databases he needs. He recently was allowed to use a computer brought in by his lawyers, albeit one without Internet access or external hard drives. In his filing, which is here, Stanford’s lawyers wrote:

Even with the ability for Stanford’s counsel to bring in computers, Stanford is limited to viewing the current 12+ million pages of discovery documents, to search for exculpatory information regarding his coverage case, a single page at a time, without any ability to word-search the documents.

Not an ideal work environment, to be sure. The italics, by the way, are Stanford’s.

In any event, he asked District Judge Nancy Atlas to allow him to be transported by U.S. marshals to his lawyers’ office daily, where he would be segregated in a special room to work. This all comes in a case separate from his criminal matter over his insurance coverage. A hearing is scheduled on Aug. 24 to decide whether the legal expenses for Stanford and three other Stanford Financial Group executives will be covered by their directors and officers insurance polices.

Judge Atlas, however, rejected Stanford’s motion, as detailed on here. In her ruling Wednesday, the judge said Stanford’s pre-trial detention matters must be handled by Judge David Hittner, who is overseeing the criminal case.

This is the same Allen Stanford, you may remember, who has gone through lawyers like water, as detailed by the WSJ here. Things haven’t gotten much smoother this summer, according to his court filing. Stanford says he was thrown in solitary confinement in July for allegedly disobeying an order from a prison guard and closing a door “insolently.” On another occasion, he alleges that eight bankers boxes of evidence that he had painstakingly organized were emptied in his cell and the contents thrown into garbage bags.

Stanford’s lawyers say that these incidents, along with “a brutal assault” he allegedly suffered, have pushed him “to the limits of his mental and physical abilities.” In addition, they wrote, “the psychotropic drugs that Stanford takes around 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day leave him in a less than fully coherent state of mind, creating yet another barrier to Stanford providing effective assistance to counsel.”

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