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United States v. Bennett

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
363 F.3d 947 (9th Cir. 2004)


Facts

Vincent Bennett (defendant) was charged with importing marijuana into the United States from Mexico. During a search of Bennett’s boat, which was believed to have transported the marijuana into the United States, U.S. Customs Officer Malcolm Chandler found a global positioning satellite (GPS) device. At trial, the prosecution did not introduce the GPS device into evidence. Instead, Chandler testified that the display of the GPS device indicated that the boat had just traveled from Mexico. Chandler was not the custodian of the GPS device and had not taken any photographs or made any records of what he saw on the device. Bennett was convicted. Bennett appealed, arguing that Chandler’s testimony violated the best-evidence rule.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Fisher, 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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