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Edgington v. United States

United States Supreme Court
164 U.S. 361 (1896)


Facts

The United States (plaintiff) charged Avington A. Edgington (defendant) with giving a false deposition, a so-called crimen falsi or crime involving falsehood, forgery, fraud, or similar dishonest behavior. At trial, Edgington proffered competent and material evidence of his good character. The judge overruled the proffer twice. The first time, the judge said it might be proper to introduce character evidence once Edgington himself had testified. The judge did not explain the second rejection. The jury convicted Edgington, and his appeal reached the United States Supreme Court. Edgington argued the exclusion of his character evidence was reversible error.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Shiras, 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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