Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Prosecutors Get More Time on Time Limits
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
BOSTON, Mass.- Federal prosecutors have won an extension until March 24 to submit a proposal to set time limits on the upcoming trial of Glenn Chin, the second defendant to face a jury on charges stemming from a federal probe of a fatal fungal meningitis outbreak.
U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns approved the extension this week. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Varghese had cited the ongoing trial of co-defendant Barry J. Cadden, as the reason an extension was needed.
Closing arguments are set for tomorrow in the Cadden trial. Testimony in the case stretched over two months.
Chin, like Cadden, is facing charges of racketeering and 25 counts of second degree murder.
Both were indicted following a two year investigation of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. Cadden was president and part owner of the New England Compounding Center, the company blamed for the outbreak. Chin was a supervising pharmacist at NECC.
Stearns, who has made numerous attempts to move the Cadden trial toward completion, issued an order late last month calling on Chin's lawyers and prosecutors to propose time limits.
In the six-page order Stearns wrote that time limits improve "the quality of jury comprehension" and enable the court "to efficiently manage its docket."
He also expressed concern about the effect on jurors of "mega trials," trials that are measured in months rather than days.