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Boyd v. United States
United States Supreme Court
142 U.S. 450 (1892)
John Boyd and Eugene Standley (defendants) were accused of murdering a man by shooting him during an attempted ferryboat robbery. At trial, detailed evidence was introduced that Boyd and Standley had robbed other people a few weeks earlier. The evidence of these prior robberies did not help to establish any fact needed to determine whether Boyd or Standley had actually shot the man during the ferryboat robbery. The jury convicted Boyd and Standley of murder, and they were sentenced to death. Boyd and Standley appealed, arguing that they were unfairly prejudiced by the extensive evidence of the prior robberies and that this evidence should have been excluded.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)
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