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Government of the Virgin Islands v. Roldan

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
612 F.2d 775 (3d Cir. 1979)


Facts

Juan Roldan (defendant) was charged with murder. At trial, the prosecution called Luz Maria Cruz, the wife of Roldan’s nephew, to testify. On cross-examination, Roldan’s counsel asked Cruz if she had ever seen people going to Roldan’s house and if she thought Roldan was generally a loner. Cruz responded saying that Roldan was “a man that never bother anybody.” On redirect examination, the prosecution asked Cruz if she was aware of Roldan’s prior conviction for first-degree murder. In doing so, the prosecution sought to rebut the defense’s implication that Roldan would never have a reason to kill someone. Roldan sought to exclude this question as impermissible character evidence. The district court permitted the question and convicted Roldan, who appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Garth, 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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