United States v. Bush

47 F.3d 511 (1995)

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United States v. Bush

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
47 F.3d 511 (1995)

Facts

Gary Bush (defendant) was charged with crimes related to a bank robbery for his role in driving the getaway car. Bush claimed that he had simply parked his car near the bank and that when he returned to his car, the bank robber was sitting inside and offered money for a ride. Bush claimed that he did not know that the man had just robbed the bank. Bush testified in his own defense. During this testimony, a juror blurted out a question in an attempt to clarify confusion around where the getaway car and other cars were parked. The judge told the juror to write down the question, and defense counsel then asked Bush the question on redirect examination. After Bush answered the question on redirect, Bush’s counsel asked the juror if his question had been answered. At this point, other jurors began asking clarifying questions directly to Bush, to which Bush responded. Bush’s counsel did not object to the direct questioning of Bush. Bush was convicted, and he appealed, arguing for a brightline rule prohibiting juror questioning of witnesses.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McLaughlin, J.)

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