Thursday, December 5, 2013

United States v. Pacelli case brief

United States v. Pacelli case brief summary
491 F.2d 1108 (1974)

Appellant challenged a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that convicted him of conspiracy to deprive a victim of her civil rights, causing her death, 18 U.S.C.S. § 241, and injuring the victim, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1503.

Appellant was convicted, following a jury trial, on both counts of an indictment that charged him with conspiring with others to deprive victim of her right to be a witness at trial, causing her death in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 241, and using force to impede and injure victim who had been a grand jury witness and who had been subpoenaed to be a witness for the government in a narcotics case then pending against appellant, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1503.


  • On appeal, the court reversed and remanded for a new trial. 
  • The district court committed reversible error by failing to exclude certain hearsay declarations offered to prove the belief of the declarants that appellant was guilty. 
  • Further, the government failed to disclose to defense counsel certain statements made by its principal witness for use in cross-examining that witness.

The court reversed the district court's judgment that convicted appellant, and it remanded for a new trial. The court found reversible error in the district court's failure to exclude certain hearsay statements and in the government's failure to disclose for cross-examination purposes certain statements made by its principal witness.

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