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Food Safety News

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Thomas G. Ledford

PCA appeal could impact future food safety prosecutions

The trial judge is as much on trial as the criminal defendants during an appeal, and a 97-minute session Tuesday in a federal appeals court in Atlanta was an illustration of how that system works. It came during oral arguments in the case of United States v. Michael Parnell, Mary Wilkerson and Stewart Parnell before a… Continue Reading

Oral arguments next month in peanut butter criminals’ appeals

The last time criminal case activity involving Peanut Corporation of America took place in an actual courtroom was almost two years ago. That was for the restitution hearing in relation to Salmonella-contaminated food that killed nine and sickened thousands. The restitution hearing for the company officials was the final action in the case in U.S. District Court in Albany,… Continue Reading

Appeal briefs filed for Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases

With their clients starting  their second year behind bars, criminal defense attorneys in the Peanut Corporation of America case finally filed briefs asking for those convictions and sentences to be over-turned. Appellate attorneys for Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson together filed briefs totaling 236 pages on the day after Thanksgiving —… Continue Reading

More time for ‘most significant food safety case in history…’

More time and more words are being awarded for appellants who say they are working on “the most significant food safety case in the history of the United States. And its significance is matched only by its factual and legal complexity.” Appellants Stewart Parnell and Michael Parnell are getting a total of 3,000 additional words for their… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeals held up over access to trial exhibits

Everybody seems to agree the 900 or so exhibits from a 2014 jury trial should be turned over in one form or another to the three defendants who are appealing their sentences and convictions in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal prosecution. Yet, it has not happened to the satisfaction of the defense. All parties… Continue Reading

PCA defense attorneys switch their focus to Atlanta for appeals

Thomas G. Ledford, the court appointed defense attorney for the former quality control manager at the now defunct Peanut Corporation of America, made numerous attempts to get the trial court to let his client off. That client, 41-year old Mary Wilkerson, is now serving a five-year sentence for obstruction of justice at the federal correctional… Continue Reading

Atlanta Court Denies Wilkerson’s Motion for Release Pending Appeal

Mary Wilkerson will begin her five years of imprisonment on Nov. 3 as the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday denied her motion for release while she appeals her conviction for obstruction of justice. The court’s one-line order merely denies Wilkerson’s motion filed Oct. 8, and it states that any request to have the… Continue Reading

Wilkerson Wants to Remain Free During Appeal; Ordered to Report Nov. 3

Only a quick motion for release on bond pending appeal can keep Mary Wilkerson from having to report to a federal women’s prison on Nov. 3, now less than two weeks away. Her attorney filed such a motion with the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Oct. 14, and yesterday Assistant U.S…. Continue Reading

Wilkerson Awaits ‘Voluntary Surrender,’ Lists Appeal Grounds

One of the three defendants sentenced Monday in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case remains free. Mary Wilkerson, who was sentenced to five years of imprisonment after her jury conviction for obstruction of justice, remains free on a $25,000 bond. That’s until she is assigned to a prison facility by the Bureau of… Continue Reading

Wilkerson’s Court-Appointed Attorney Keeps Fighting for His Client

In the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell are the former executives. Stewart was PCA’s chief executive officer and Michael brokered peanuts to the company. Mary Wilkerson was the quality control manager who moved up from a receptionist position. The former PCA junior management employee was convicted by a jury… Continue Reading