Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Hogan case brief

United States v. Hogan case brief summary
763 F.2d 697 (5th Cir. 1985)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendants appealed the decision of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas convicting them of importing marijuana and conspiracy to import and possess with the intent to distribute the drug. One defendant also appealed the denial of a motion to sever the trials.

CASE FACTS
Defendants were convicted of importing marijuana and conspiracy to import and possess with the intent to distribute the drug. Defendants appealed, claiming that the use of statements was mainly for impeaching the witness with otherwise inadmissible hearsay statements. One defendant also appealed the denial of a motion to sever.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that the admission of the evidence constituted plain, not harmless, error. 
  • The court reversed because the government called a witness for the primary purpose of impeaching him with otherwise inadmissible hearsay evidence. 
  • The court added that denial of a motion to sever the trials of the defendants was proper because one defendant did not show that prior prosecution or quantum of evidence against other defendant, or defendants' status as brothers, justified severance.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed because the government called a witness for the primary purpose of impeaching him with otherwise inadmissible hearsay evidence.


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