Monday, December 23, 2013

United States v. Grayson case brief

United States v. Grayson case brief summary
438 U.S. 41 (1978)

The government appealed a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which vacated the sentence of defendant that was imposed following his conviction for prison escape.

Defendant was convicted of prison escape, and in imposing a sentence of incarceration the trial judge indicated that he considered the false testimony defendant presented during the trial of the cause. Defendant sought review and the court of appeals vacated the sentence and remanded the cause for resentencing. The government appealed and the court reversed the decision and remanded the cause for imposition of the original sentence, finding that the trial judge had the obligation in fashioning a sentence for defendant to make a determination with regard to his prospects for rehabilitation and restoration to a useful place in society.


  • The court concluded that, in making his determination, the trial judge was within his authority to evaluate defendant's testimony for willful and material falsehoods and to assess such testimony in light of the other knowledge gained about defendant through the traditional presentence investigation. 
  • The court found that the use of such information in formulating a sentence would not chill other defendants from testifying because the right to testify was tempered by the duty to testify in accordance with the oath of truthfulness.

The court reversed the order that vacated defendant's sentence and remanded the cause for imposition of the original sentence rendered by the trial court.

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