Thursday, December 5, 2013

United States v. Manske case brief

United States v. Manske case brief summary
186 F.3d 770 (1999)

Defendant-appellant sought review of a decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, which convicted him of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C.S. § 846.

Defendant-appellant was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Prior to trial, respondent government made a motion in limine to bar defendant from questioning a witness, who was also a co-defendant, regarding threats that the witness had made and potential bias. The court granted the motion. Defendant was convicted and sought review. Defendant argued that the limitation of cross-examination was improper because the threats made by the witness were probative of the witness' truthfulness or untruthfulness.

The court reversed the conviction and remanded. It found the trial court erred when it granted the motion in limine because the limitation impacted defendant's U.S. Constitutional Amendment VI right to confront witnesses and because bias was one of the acceptable methods for attacking a witness' credibility.

The court reversed defendant-appellant's conviction and remanded for a new trial because the trial court erred when it limited defendant's cross-examination of key witnesses.

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