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United States v. Brown

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
603 F.2d 1022 (1979)


The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted John T. Brown (defendant) for theft. Government evidence suggested Brown's friend Jerome Proulx accompanied Brown to the crime scene and may have assisted Brown in the theft. At trial, Proulx reluctantly testified for the government. After extended hesitant and incoherent testimony in which Proulx appeared forgetful and confused, the judge declared Proulx a hostile witness under Federal Rule of Evidence 611(c). The judge then allowed the prosecutor to ask Proulx leading questions in order to speed Proulx's testimony and make it easier for the jury to understand. The jury convicted Brown. On appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Brown argued the judge erred in treating Proulx as a hostile witness.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bownes, J.)

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