Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Brackeen case brief

United States v. Brackeen case brief summary
969 F.2d 827 (9th Cir. 1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant petitioned for review, claiming the United States District Court for the Central District of California erred in ruling that bank robbery was per se a crime of "dishonesty" under Fed. R. Evid. 609(a)(2), and permitting prosecution to impeach appellant with his guilty pleas to two counts of unarmed bank robbery.

CASE FACTS
Appellant allegedly robbed three different banks on three separate days. In first robbery, appellant acted in close proximity to an accomplice, and surveillance photos showed accomplice pointing a pistol at bank teller. In other robberies, appellant was unarmed and apparently acted alone.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Appellant was charged with aiding and abetting armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 2, 2113(a) &2113(d) (1988), and two counts of unarmed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 2113(a) (1988). District court allowed prosecution to impeach appellant with guilty pleas to unarmed bank robberies because such crimes were per se "dishonest" under Fed. R. Evid. (FRE) 609(a)(2).

ISSUE
The appellate question was whether bank robbery necessarily involved "dishonesty," as that term is used in FRE 609(a)(2).

HOLDING
The Court reversed and remanded for new trial, holding that, in accordance with congressional intent, bank robbery was not per se a crime of "dishonesty" under FRE 609(a)(2).

CONCLUSION
Construing Federal Rules of Evidence to determine congressional intent, court reversed trial court's allowance of prosecution's impeachment of appellant with his guilty pleas to counts of unarmed bank robbery, ruling that bank robbery was not per se a crime of "dishonesty" under Fed. R. Evid. 609(a)(2); remanded for new trial.

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