Monthly Archives: April 2014

FRE 404(b)

United States v. Gomez | 12-1104
United States v. Torres-Chavez | 13-1340
United States v. Reed | 12-3701

April 2014

The fight to keep out evidence of prior bad acts often leaves defendants (and their counsel) feeling battered and beaten – and sometimes cheated. It is anybody’s guess whether this will change in the coming months when the Seventh Circuit hears en banc a case asking whether to change the test for determining the admissibility of evidence under FRE 404(b). See U.S. v. Gomez, No. 12-1104 (7th Cir. June 14, 2013).

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Prosecutorial (In)Discretion

United States v. Abair | 13-2498
RRD v. Holder | 13-2141

April 2014

We could not pass up an opportunity to highlight two cases in which judges on the Seventh Circuit openly questioned the aggressive exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

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The Sanctity of the Jury

U.S. v. Torres-Chavez | 13-1340

April 2014

Thomas Jefferson famously said: “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Someone should have told the Seventh Circuit. In U.S. v Torres-Chavez, No. 13-1340, the Court held that a jury verdict will stand even if the jurors defy the Constitution.Read More >>

FRE 608(b)

U.S. v. Abair | 13-2498

April 2014

Stop us if you have heard this story before: A Russian woman wanted to buy a home in Indiana. But Citibank Moscow would not let her transfer funds directly into her account in the United States because of bureaucratic reasons. So she slowly withdrew funds from the Russian account at ATMs in Indiana and deposited the cash into her United States account. The next thing she knows, she is convicted of structuring currency transactions, after facing a relentless and brutal cross-examination that accused her of lying on two totally unrelated documents – a student loan application and federal tax return.

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