Monday, December 23, 2013

United States v. Hodges case brief

United States v. Hodges case brief summary
515 F.2d 650 (1975)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant challenged a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which convicted him of possession of a check stolen from the mail, with knowledge that it was stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1708.

CASE FACTS
Appellant was charged with possessing a check stolen from the mail with knowledge that it was stolen in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1708. The trial court refused to give a jury instruction on identification even though the government's case rested almost entirely upon three eyewitness identifications of appellant.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and remanded for a new trial and held that where identification was a key issue, the trial court was required to give an instruction that emphasized the need for finding the circumstances of the identification to be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed appellant's conviction for possession of a check stolen from the mail with knowledge that it was stolen and remanded for a new trial because the trial court erred when it refused to instruct the jury that it must find the circumstances of appellant's identification by witnesses to be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt.

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