U.S.v.TAM

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco DivisionAug 7, 2006
CR 05-00375 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2006)

CR 05-00375.

August 7, 2006

SHARI L. GREENBERGER, San Francisco CA, Attorney for Defendant, IRIS LAI HUNG TAM.


MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SEVERANCE


INTRODUCTION

The defendant, IRIS TAM, through counsel, respectfully moves this Honorable Court, pursuant to Rule 14 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, for an order to sever Ms. Tam's trial from the trial of her co-defendants. As demonstrated herein, a lengthy joint trial involving 19 defendants will subject Ms. Tam to severe prejudice, wholly depriving her of her constitutional right to a fair trial.

This motion is based upon Rule 14 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the memorandum of points and authorities filed herein, and the pleadings and papers on file in this action.

BACKGROUND

On June 16, 2005, by way of Indictment, Iris Tam was charged, along with 20 other defendants with knowingly and intentionally conspiring to manufacture, to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute one thousand or more marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 846. Additionally, in the same indictment, co-defendants, Enrique Chan, Richard Wong, and Thy Quang Nguyen are charged with conspiracy, in May of 2005, to possess with intent to distribute MDMA in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 846 and 841 (b)(1)(C). Further, co-defendants Phat Vuong and Richard Wong are also charged with conspiracy from January 12, 2001 to November 6, 2003 to engage in Money Laundering by using their checking accounts to pay rent on warehouses where marijuana was cultivated, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1956(h).

On June 21, 2006, by way of a Second Superseding Indictment, Iris Tam, along with 18 other co-defendants was subsequently charged in a thirty count indictment. Notably, Ms. Tam is named in only three of the counts, to wit: 1) knowingly and intentionally conspiring to manufacture, to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute one thousand or more marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 846 and 841 (b)(1)(A)(vii) and 18 U.S.C. section 2; 2) between March 1, 2005 and June 22, 2005, knowingly and intentionally lease, rent, use and maintain 154 7th Street, San Francisco, California to cultivate and distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 856 (a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. section 2; and 3)on or about June 22, 2005, knowingly and intentionally cultivate marijuana 154 7th Street, San Francisco, California, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(d) and 18 U.S.C. section 2.

Additionally, the government noticed Defense counsel of two other separate indictments; 1) United States v, Richard Wong, et al. CR06-0428 SI; and 2) United States v. Vince Wan et al., CR 06-0426 SI, stating that it will file a Notice of Related Cases as to all cases. Crucially, Ms. Tam is not named in these separate indictments, all of which are pending before this Court.

During the course of these multiple investigations, the government spent endless hours wiretapping the defendants' conversations, conducting surveillance and using a multi-agency task force to compile over thirty thousand pages of hard discovery. The voluminous discovery includes over three thousand hours of wiretaps, hundreds of hours of wiretap surveillance, multiple wiretap applications and affidavits, over twenty different search warrants, numerous photographs, and the use of several undercover informants and agents.

The prosecution alleges that Ms. Tam participated in the same act or transaction or in the same series of acts or transactions constituting the offenses charged herein, justifying joinder with 18 other co-defendants. However, the purported evidence against Ms. Tam is de minimus at best and is ambiguous as to any illegal activity. Accordingly, joinder of Ms. Tam in the present conspiracy will force her to needlessly endure a lengthy, expensive trial which will undoubtedly cause her extreme prejudice and essentially deprive her of a fair and impartial trial.

It is unequivocal that voluminous evidence, which would not be admissible against Ms. Tam if she was tried alone, will be sought to be admitted against the co-defendants in the present case. The massive and complex evidence that the prosecution seeks to introduce will make it impossible for the jury to distinguish evidence as it relates to each defendant on one hand, and cause irreversible prejudicial spillover to Ms. Tam on the other. The gross disparity in the weight of evidence further exacerbates the prejudice that Ms. Tam will face upon such admission. Hence, the "spillover" effect of the evidence relating to other defendants will gravely prejudice Ms. Tam, denying her a fair and impartial trial. For the reasons set forth herein severance of Ms. Tam is warranted.

ARGUMENT I. THIS COURT MUST GRANT IRIS TAM A SEPARATE TRIAL ON GROUNDS OF PREJUDICIAL MISJOINDER.

Ms. Tam will be prejudiced by a lengthy trial with 18 co-defendants and, therefore, severance is required.

Joinder of defendants is only proper under Fed.R.Crim.P. 8, in the event that "two or more defendants . . . are alleged to have participated in the same act or transaction or in the same series of acts or transactions constituting an offense or offenses."

However, the mere similarity of acts, without more, cannot justify joinder, and presence of overlapping members does not make separate conspiracies part of same series of acts or transactions. See United States v. Webb, (D.C. Mass. 1993)

827 F. Supp. 840.

In Webb, the court found that joinder of counts charging two separate conspiracies to distribute cocaine base was improper under F.R.Cr.P. 8(b), where the only links between the conspiracies are that (1) both are conspiracies to distribute cocaine and (2) one defendant is alleged to be member of both conspiracies, because the First Circuit has stated that mere similarity of acts, without more, cannot justify joinder, and the presence of one overlapping member does not make two separate conspiracies part of same series of acts or transactions. Id.

Similarly, in United States v. Garganese, (D.C. Utah 1994) 156 FRD 263, the court found that counts charging two defendants with bank fraud and monetary transactions in criminally derived property were misjoined with counts charging other defendants with conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud, since statutory violations differed, defendants moving for severance were not charged in counts charging other defendants, and no facts were alleged connecting them with any of offenses alleged against other defendants. Id.

Indeed, courts have found misjoinder in a cases where a defendant who was not charged in and had no relationship to multiple counts. In United States v. Paul, the defendant was not charged in and had no relationship to charges in counts 29-99 and was therefore entitled to severance from co-defendant's trial on those charges. United States v. Paul (S.D. Fla 1993) 150 FRD 696.

Likewise, here the only links between the conspiracies are that they allege criminal violations, involving possession with the intent to distribute marijuana plants and money laundering. Moreover, Ms. Tam is charged in only three of the thirty counts listed in the Second Superceding Indictment. The mere similarity of acts, without more, cannot justify joinder, and the presence of overlapping members does not make separate conspiracies part of same series of acts or transactions. As such there is prejudicial misjoinder and Ms. Tam is entitled to severance.

A defendant may obtain relief from prejudicial joinder. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 14 states:

Relief from Prejudicial Joinder: If it appears that a defendant or the government is prejudiced by joinder of . . . defendants in an indictment or information or by such joinder for trial together, the court may order an election or separate trials of counts, grant severance of defendants or provide whatever relief justice requires.

The trial court has the discretionary power to order severance for prejudicial joinder under Rule 14 and the "trial judge has a continuing duty at all stages of the trial to grant a severance if prejudice does appear." See United State v. Candoli, 870 F.2d 496, 510 (9th Cir. 1989); United States v. Lutz, 621 F.2d 940, 945 (9th Cir. 1980); Schaffer v. United States, 362 U.S. 511, 516 (1960), rehearing denied, 363 U.S. 858 (1960).

Under Rule 14, the court may order a severance when it appears that a defendant may be prejudiced by a joint trial with her co-defendants. United States v. Sherlock, 962 F.2d 1349, 1359 (9th Cir. 1989). Where the defendant demonstrates that a joint trial would impair one of her substantive rights, the court must order a severance of trials. Id. at 1359-60. Although the severance of defendants' trials rests within the sound discretion of the District Court, ". . . when joinder of either defendants or offenses causes the actual or threatened deprivation of a fair trial, severance is no longer discretionary. . . ." United States v. Butler, 494 F.2d 1246, 1256 (10th Cir. 1974). The unavailability of full cross-examination, the denial of Sixth Amendment confrontation rights, and the failure to properly instruct the jury on the admissibility of evidence as to each defendant all constitute a violation of a defendant's substantive rights, which will greatly prejudice a defendant in a joint trial. (See United States v. Camacho, 528 F.2d 464, 470 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 995 (1976).

In exercising its discretion under Rule 14, the court should balance the degree of prejudice to the accused against the extent to which joinder serves the interest of judicial economy. United States v. Butler, 494 F.2d 1246, 1256 (10th Cir. 1974).

However, where there exists "a serious risk that a joint trial would compromise a specific trial right . . . or prevents the jury from making a reliable judgement," severance should be granted. Zafiro v. United States, 506 U.S. 534, 535 (1993);United States v. Kenny, 645 F.2d 1323, 1345 (9th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 920, 454 U.S. 828.

The court in Zafiro explained:

When defendants properly have been joined under Rule 8(b), a district court should grant a severance under Rule 14 only if there is a serious risk that a joint trial would compromise a specific trial right of one of the defendants, or prevent the jury from making a reliable judgment about guilt or innocence. Such a risk might occur when evidence that the jury should not consider against a defendant and that would not be admissible if a defendant were tried alone is admitted against a codefendant. For example, evidence of a codefendant's wrongdoing in some circumstances erroneously could lead a jury to conclude that a defendant was guilty. When many defendants are tried together in a complex case and they have markedly different degrees of culpability, this risk of prejudice is heightened.
Id. at 539; Also see Kotteakos v. United States, 328 U.S. 750, 774-775, 90 L.Ed. 1557, 66 S.Ct. 1239 (1946).

Where a joint trial is manifestly prejudicial the court must exercise its discretion by ordering separate trials. United States v. Donoway, 447 F.2d 940, 943 (9th Cir. 1971). In making its decision to sever defendants' trials, the District Court must weigh the potential prejudice to the defendant against the interest of judicial economy. United States v. Kennedy, 564 F.2d 1329, 1334 (9th Cir. 1977). Considerations of judicial economy, however, are insufficient grounds for denying a motion to sever which is necessary to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial.

Moreover, "[t]he goal of the judicial process is not to decide cases as quickly and inexpensively as possible." United States v. Boscia, 573 F.2d 827, 833 (3rd Cir. 1978).

In the instant case, where multiple defendants are being tried together in this complex case and have markedly different degrees of culpability, the risk of prejudice is heightened. The prejudice that ensues with 18 co-defendants against Ms. Tam is so severe that her trial rights will be undoubtedly compromised. The immediate threat to Ms. Tam's constitutional rights therefore requires severance regardless of judicial economy concerns. However, assuming arguendo that this Court does not ascertain that joinder so manifestly prejudices Ms. Tam so as to require separate trials, Ms. Tam respectfully requests this Court exercise its discretion because the grave risk of undue prejudice outweighs concerns for judicial economy in this case.

Moreover, severance is particularly important where the jury is unable to compartmentalize the evidence against the defendants, (See United States v. Johnson, 297 F.3d 845, 859 (9th Cir. 2002); where the evidence is admissible against one defendant but not against another defendant would have a prejudicial overlapping effect; (see Candoli, 870 F.2d at 510); where conspirators' defenses are mutually exclusive, see United States v. Gonzalez, 749 F.2d 1329, 1333-34 (9th Cir. 1984); or where the evidence against one defendant is disproportionate in relation to another defendant. United States v. Rasheed, 663 F.2d 843, 844-45 (9th Cir. 1981).

Severance is most appropriate in a single lengthy mega-trial where the government has charged many defendants with various drug-related crimes that result in greater jury confusion, where limiting instructions to prevent the jury's confusion is inadequate, and where there is a substantial risk of defendants being convicted not upon their own acts but on the unwarranted stigma of guilt imputed to them because of the acts of a co-defendant. See United States v. McLaurin, 557 F.2d 1064, 1074 (5th Cir. 1977).

In a single, lengthy mega-trial, such as the present trial, greater judicial efficiency is achieved in severing the trial because

as the government proceeds through separate trials, it learns the strengths of its case and makes a sharper and more streamlined presentation so that each successive trial moves at a quicker and smoother pace than the last. (citations omitted).
United States v. Baker, 10 F.3d 1374, 1389 (9th Cir. 1993)

When fewer defendants and defense counsel are involved in one trial, there is less need for the sidebars and continuances that contribute to the length of a joint trial. Id. at 1390. Additionally, severance enables the court itself to become much more familiar with the nature of the case and the evidence. Id. Overall, a severance in a case of this magnitude enables more expeditious and more efficient rulings. Id.

In the present case, a single lengthy trial involving 19 defendants will undoubtedly prejudice Ms. Tam. A trial of such scope will complicate procedure, thwart fairness in administration and create unjustifiable expense and delay for Ms. Tam. See United States v. Baker, 10 F.3d 1374 (9th Cir. 1993). In addition to prejudicing Ms. Tam, a trial of this size will also have negative consequences on everyone associated with the case, including the trial court, the attorneys, the support personnel, the court of appeals, the taxpayers and particularly the jurors. See Id. at 1390-1394.

Moreover, the court explained that there are a myriad of set-backs, additional hurdles and potential sources of prejudice that a defendant is likely to face in a trial of this size:

Defendants may have difficulty obtaining their counsel of choice, either because they cannot afford the staggering attorney fees of a year-long trial or because attorneys are unwilling to suspend the balance of their practice for such a protracted period. See Edward B. Williams, The Problems of Long Criminal Trials, 34 F.R.D. 181, 182-183 (1963). Most importantly, the human limitations of the jury system and the consequent risk of spillover prejudice cannot be ignored.
Id. at 1391.

The court also explained that the risk of spillover prejudice is "particularly acute for comparatively peripheral defendants." In United States v. Baker, the court pointed to Robert Cole as an example because he was charged only in the methamphetamine conspiracy count and his separate trial could have been concluded in a matter of days or weeks; yet, he was nevertheless required to sit in the courtroom during months of proof involving entirely unrelated conspiracies and substantive offenses. Id. 1391.

Iris Tam is a peripheral defendant and joinder with the other co-defendants will deprive her of a fair trial, therefore severance is necessary.

A. THIS COURT MUST GRANT SEVERANCE TO IRIS TAM TO PREVENT IMPERMISSIBLE "SPILLOVER."

Charges against multiple defendants which are properly joined may nonetheless result in prejudice requiring reversal because of the evidence to be presented at trial. United States v. Sanchez-Lopez, 879 F.2d 541, 551 (9th Cir. 1989).

The inherent prejudice to defendants from a joint trial is well-recognized. See Spencer v. Texas, 385 U.S. 554, 613 (1967). The risk of prejudice is heightened when multiple defendants are tried together in a complex case and where co-defendants have different degrees of culpability. The Ninth Circuit has consistently found that severance should be granted where a party shows a "violation of one of his substantive rights by reason of the joint trial: unavailability of full cross-examination, lack of opportunity to present an individual defense, denial of Sixth Amendment confrontation rights, lack of separate counsel among defendants with conflicting interests, or failure to properly instruct the jury on the admissibility of evidence as to each defendant." See United States v. Escalante, 637 F.2d 1197, 1201 (9th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 856 (1980) (citations omitted).

Further, the seventh circuit offers instructive guidance for the assessment of prejudice arising from a joint trial. United States v. Garner, 837 F.2d 1404, (7th Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 486 U.S. 1035, 108 S. Ct. 2022, 100 L.Ed.2d 608 (1988). Garner sets forth four situations, any one of which would require severance, to wit:

(1) antagonistic defenses conflicting to the point of being irreconcilable and mutually exclusive; (2) massive and complex evidence making it almost impossible for the jury to separate evidence as it relates to each defendant when determining each defendant's innocence or guilt; (3) a co-defendant's statement inculpating the moving defendant; and (4) gross disparity in the weight of the evidence against defendants.

Joinder has been found to be appropriate only when the joined counts are logically related, and there is a large area of overlapping proof. United States v. Roselli, 432 F.2d 879, 899 (9th Cir. 1970).

Here, there is no large area of overlapping proof. Based on the government's consolidation and presentation of separate conspiracy cases into one, the spillover effect of the evidence presented against the multiple co-defendants will gravely prejudice Ms. Tam and deprive her of a fair trial.

As previously indicated, the government has presented voluminous discovery, including, but not limited to, over thirty thousand pages of hard discovery, thousands of hours of wire-taps, and over twenty different search warrants. The evidence implicates many co-defendants in an extensive conspiracy, for which Ms. Tam has no involvement.

Allegations that Ms. Tam participated in the present conspiracy and was involved in a money laundering scheme is unfounded, rather the present charges are predicated on numerous factual inaccuracies and false allegations that are not corroborated by any physical evidence or factual allegations. The government bases the extent of Ms. Tam's involvement in this alleged conspiracy on one isolated statement made by her son, co-defendant Enrique Chan, indicating that his mother knew of his marijuana operation; and the sole allegation contained in the warrant affidavit that Ms. Tam assists Enrique Chan "to launder the proceeds of his narcotics trafficking."

Falling short of supporting such allegations, the prosecution offers merely the fact that Mr. Chan uses vehicles which are registered in Ms. Tam's name. The affidavit states that Mr. Chan drove a 2002 Audi that was registered in his mother's, Iris Tam, name in 2004, until he was involved in a car accident on January 27, 2005. Thereafter, he drove a 2000 Mercedes SUV, which was registered to IJC Food Products, a company that Ms. Tam owns. Mr. Chan and his associates allegedly discussed using the Mercedes SUV to transport grow equipment or supplies without Ms. Tam's knowledge. Any additional evidence is derived from conversations in which Ms. Tam and Enrique Chan discuss the appraisal value of a real estate investment property and the possibility of legitimate future property investments.

Significantly, should this case proceed to trial, Ms. Tam will produce evidence that she is not involved in any laundering money, and that all of her business endeavors and properties are personal investments, which in no way constitute illegal activity. Moreover, none of the evidence set forth in support of the allegation of Ms. Tam's involvement in laundering money are substantiated in any way by the evidence. Instead, as discussed herein, Ms. Tam has always been a law-abiding, successful, productive and contributing member of American society, since her entry into this country thirty years ago. Her family, her businesses, and her property investments have always accounted for Ms. Tam's life focus and are the bonafide product of hard work and determination as a single mother and an over-achiever. Now, everything she has arduously toiled over to build is in jeopardy due to the present charges.

Despite the lack of evidence against Ms. Tam's involvement in the present conspiracy, the immense amount of evidence that exists in this case will make it impossible for the jury to separate evidence as it relates to the multiple co-defendants on one level and to Ms. Tam on another. Therefore, the jury will be impermissibly biased despite the gross disparity in the weight of evidence against the defendants.

It is particularly important to note that "neither mere association and activity with a co-conspirator nor even knowledge of the conspiracy's existence meets the standards [required] to link a defendant to a conspiracy charge." United States v. Peterson, 549 F.2d 654, 658 (9th Cir. 1997). Therefore, neither the fact that Ms. Tam's son in charged with multiple counts under the present conspiracy, nor her interaction or association with other co-defendants, without more, justifies joinder. Consequently, the scant evidence which the government will present against Ms. Tam is more confusing, prejudicial, and time consuming than the voluminous evidence which will be presented against the multiple other co-defendants. It is extraordinarily difficult for a jury to follow admonishing instructions and to separate evidence that is relevant only to one co-defendant.Bruton, 391 U.S. at 129. Accordingly, the jury will be impermissibly influenced from the prejudicial spillover of the evidence presented against other defendants regarding marijuana seizures for which Ms. Tam plays no part, nor does the evidence substantiate the same. Thus, the joinder of Ms. Tam in the alleged conspiracy is highly prejudicial under Fed.R.Crim.P. 14. The jury in this case would not be capable of compartmentalizing the evidence as it relates specifically to Ms. Tam. Nor would the jury be able to prevent the evidence presented against the co-defendants from unwarranted "spillover" into their deliberations regarding Ms. Tam's guilt or innocence. Due to the prejudicial "spillover" effect of the evidence that does not implicate or relate to Ms. Tam, severance is warranted.

B. SEVERANCE MUST BE GRANTED BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF EVIDENCE CONCERNS OTHER DEFENDANTS AND WILL GREATLY PREJUDICE IRIS TAM.

The Government intends to introduce voluminous evidence at trial that was collected over a four and a half year period. The evidence encompasses 19 charged defendants, over three thousand hours of wiretap evidence, over thirty thousand pages of hard discovery, two different counties, two different types of narcotics, and twenty different search warrants and grow sites. Most importantly, all of this extensive evidence centers around other co-defendants and is utterly void of evidence implicating Iris Tam in any criminal activity, let alone links her to the present conspiracy.

Where evidence against one defendant is de minimus compared to evidence against other co-defendants, a severance of trials is warranted. United States v. Mardian, 546 F.2d 973 (D.C. Cir. 1976); and United States v. Sampol, 636 F.2d 621 (1980).

From the prolific discovery presented by the government, it appears that the only evidence that the government intends to introduce against Ms. Tam includes the following: 1) Mr. Chan's use of vehicles which are registered in either Ms. Tam's name, or registered to IJC Food Products, a company that Ms. Tam owns; 2) wiretaps where she and her son, Enrique Chan, discuss the appraisal value of a real estate investment property (located at 154 7th Street but never purchased); 3) the possibility of legitimate future property investments; and 4) surveillance where Ms. Tam looks at a potential real estate investment that she does not in fact purchase.

Despite copious wiretaps by the government, the limited conversations involving Ms. Tam are minimal, non-inculpatory, and wholly irrelevant to both the present charges and joinder of her as a co-defendant to the present conspiracies. Additionally, despite extensive surveillance of the 19 defendants joined in the present conspiracy, the actual surveillance of Ms. Tam is limited to one instance on June 1, 2005 at 154 7th Street, San Francisco. The extent of Ms. Tam's activity at 154 7th Street pertains to her viewing the property as a potential real estate investment, which she in fact found undesirable and did not purchase.

Overall, despite hours of surveillance, lengthy wiretapping, and the introduction of undercover agents, the evidence allegedly implicating Ms. Tam in any criminal activity is entirely suspect, especially when viewed in isolation, and wholly de minimus when compared to other co-defendants.

Multiple Ninth Circuit courts have held that a severance of trial should be granted where the evidence against one defendant is disproportionate in relation to other defendants. United States v. Baker, 10 F.3d 1374, 1391; United States v. Donaway, 447 F.2d 940 (9th Cir. 1971); United States v. Rasheed, 663 F.2d 843 (9th Cir. 1981).

As set forth above there is a great disparity in the amount of evidence introduced against Ms. Tam, in comparison to the other defendants in the present conspiracy. Ms. Tam will undoubtedly be prejudiced by the immense amount of evidence that exists against the remaining 18 co-defendants. Notwithstanding the fact that the evidence the government intends to introduce against Ms. Tam is de minimus, it is likely that the jury will not be able to separate such de minimus evidence from evidence of criminal activity pertaining to other defendants, thus, prejudicing Ms. Tam, and requiring severance of the charges against her.

III. JUDICIAL ECONOMY IS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY SERVED BY A JOINT TRIAL.

No defendant should ever be deprived of a fair trial because it is more economical for the government to try severed defendants in one trial rather than protracted multiple trials. The goal of judicial process is not to decide cases as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. United States v. Bosai, 573 F.2d 827, 832 (3rd Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 436 U.S. 911, re'hrg. denied, 438 U.S. 908 and cert. denied, 439 U.S. 854.

Judicial economy should only be considered as a factor if the court is reasonably assured that defendants can receive a fair trial regardless if severance is granted. Id.; See also,United States v. Peters, 791 F.2d 1270 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 847 (1986), citing, Kottealcos v. United States, 328 U.S. 750 (1946). Furthermore, as stated by the Ninth Circuit has stated, although severance determinations will be "influenced by the truism that joint trials are usually less burdensome to the prosecution than separate trial, [t]his economy does not entitle us to treat lightly" a defendant's motion for a severed trial. United States v. Kaplan, 554 F.2d 958, 967 (9th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 956 (1977) [finding failure to sever was an abuse of the court's discretion].

As elucidated herein, Ms. Tam clearly cannot receive a fair trial if joined with 18 other co-defendants. Thus, a separate trial is necessary to ensure Iris Tam's constitutional rights to due process, and should not be considered an undue burden on the prosecution or judicial economy, especially, in a case where Ms. Tam is facing a ten to life sentence and has no prior entanglement with the criminal justice system whatsoever in the last sixty years. The prejudice faced by Iris Tam in proceeding in a multi-defendant, conspiracy case with marijuana growers far outweighs any considerations of judicial economy under the circumstances of this case. Any benefit to judicial economy of a joint trial in these circumstances does not outweigh the extreme prejudice that Iris Tam will suffer as a result of a joint trial.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Court must grant Iris Tam's motion for severance. The inevitable prejudice that Ms. Tam will face in a trial of this magnitude cannot be cured by any jury instruction and will deprive Ms. Tam of a fair and impartial jury trial. Therefore, under Rule 14, Ms. Tam respectfully urges this Court to grant a severance, as required under the interests of fair play and substantial justice.