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United States v. Beechum

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
582 F.2d 898 (5th Cir. 1978)


Facts

Orange Beechum (defendant) was a United States mail carrier. Beechum was arrested and charged with the unlawful possession of a valuable silver dollar that had been stolen from the mail. At the time of Beechum’s arrest, two credit cards were found in his wallet that did not belong to him. Beechum testified that he had been planning to turn in the silver dollar to his supervisor. There was conflicting evidence presented at trial as to whether Beechum had had an opportunity to turn in the silver dollar. Over Beechum’s objection, the prosecution introduced the evidence of the credit cards, including the fact that the cards had been mailed 10 months earlier to addresses on Beechum’s mail route. The trial judge instructed the jury to use the credit-card evidence only as an indication of Beechum’s unlawful intent with respect to the silver dollar. Beechum was convicted. Beechum appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tjoflat, 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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