Thursday, December 5, 2013

United States v. DiNapoli case brief

United States v. DiNapoli case brief summary
8 F.3d 909 (2d Cir. 1993)

Before the court on remand from the United States Supreme Court regarding the district court's refusal to admit into evidence defense witnesses' grand jury testimony in appellants' trial for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1962 (1988).

Appellants sought review of their criminal convictions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1962 (1988). The court refused to allow into evidence the grand jury testimony of two defense witnesses who invoked the privilege against self-incrimination at trial under Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(1) because appellee prosecutor had different motives when examining the witnesses at the two proceedings.  On appeal, the court was reversed.

  • On further appeal, the court reversed again, holding that in assessing similarity of motive, the party that resisted the offered testimony at trial must have had, at a prior proceeding, an interest of substantially similar intensity to prove (or disprove) the same side of a substantially similar issue. 
  • Appellee's motives in examining the witnesses before the grand jury and at trial were not substantially similar because appellee had no interest in showing the witnesses' testimony to be false before the grand jury.

The court affirmed the district court, holding that appellee prosecutor did not have substantially similar interests in questioning witnesses before a grand jury and at trial, therefore, the district court correctly refused to admit the witnesses' grand jury testimony.

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