Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Hampton case brief

United States v. Hampton case brief summary
464 F.3d 687 (2010)

Defendant appealed from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, where a jury convicted defendant of ten robberies of federally insured banks plus one attempted robbery of such a bank and of related crimes involving firearms. The only issue on appeal was whether the banks were in fact federally insured.

Photocopies that purported to be the certificates of insurance that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) had issued to the banks (but no originals) were introduced into evidence, and an employee of each bank, typically a teller, testified that an identical photocopy hanging on the wall of his bank was a true copy of the bank's certificate.


  • All the copies placed in evidence bore dates of issuance of the copied certificate before the robberies. 
  • Of course, even if the copies were accurate copies of valid certificates of insurance issued by the FDIC, the insurance may have expired or been cancelled or may have been issued to predecessors of these banks and somehow lapsed when the banks were acquired by their present owners. 
  • The employees who testified about their banks' insured status testified that the banks were currently insured, and the jury was entitled to believe their testimony. 
  • It would have been better had they been asked whether the banks had been insured on the date of the robberies, five months earlier. 
  • But the likelihood that insurance had lapsed and been reinstated was too slight to undermine the testimony seriously.

The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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