Thursday, December 5, 2013

United States v. Webster case brief

United States v. Webster case brief summary
734 F.2d 1191

Defendant was charged with aiding and abetting a robbery and receiving stolen funds. The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois convicted him of all charges. The defendant appealed.

At trial, plaintiff government called the bank robber, who had pleaded guilty, as a witness against the defendant. The robber gave testimony that if believed would have exculpated the defendant, whereupon the government introduced prior inconsistent statements that the robber had given the Federal Bureau of Investigation inculpating the defendant. The defendant was convicted for aiding and abetting the bank robbery and receiving stolen bank funds. Although the court instructed the jury that it could consider the robber's statements only for purposes of impeachment, the defendant argued that the government should not have been allowed to get inadmissible evidence before the jury by calling a hostile witness and then using his out-of-court statements, which would otherwise have been inadmissible hearsay, to impeach him.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the defendant's conviction. 
  • The court found that pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 607, the credibility of a witness may be attacked by any party. 
  • The court held that it was quite plain that there was no bad faith by the prosecutor.

The defendant's conviction was affirmed.

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