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United States v. Barrett

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
539 F.2d 244 (1st Cir. 1976)


Facts

The United States (plaintiff) charged Barrett (defendant) with crimes arising from the theft of a museum’s stamp collection. At trial, Barrett sought to introduce witness testimony indicating that an alleged co-conspirator, Ben Tilley, had made a statement outside of court that he, Tilley, was involved in the theft, but Barrett was not. Tilley died before trial. The trial court found the evidence was inadmissible hearsay because it was not against Tilley’s interest. Additionally, Buzzy Adams testified that he had a conversation with Barrett following Barrett’s arrest and bailment in which Barrett inferred his own guilt. Barrett sought to introduce testimony from Thomas Delaney and Jeanne Kelley regarding Adams’s prior inconsistent statements. Barrett argued he was not introducing the testimony for the truth of the matter asserted, but to impeach Adams’s credibility. The court also excluded Delaney’s and Kelley’s testimony. The jury convicted Barrett and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)

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