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Bourjaily v. United States

United States Supreme Court
483 U.S. 171 (1987)


Facts

Greathouse, an FBI informant, arranged to sell cocaine to Lonardo in order for Lonardo to distribute it to others, including the defendant. Lonardo arranged a meeting in a parking lot between himself, Greathouse, and the defendant, at which Lonardo would transfer the cocaine from Greathouse to the defendant. At the meet, Lonardo and the defendant were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, among other things. The prosecution sought to introduce into evidence a telephone conversation between Lonardo and Greathouse recorded prior to the meet, in which Lonardo stated that he had a “friend” who was interested in buying the cocaine, but wanted more information. The district court found that a conspiracy existed between Lonardo and the defendant and also that Lonardo’s statements on the recording were admissible as statements by a coconspirator. As a result, the court convicted the defendant. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The defendant appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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