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United States v. Fujii

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
N.D. Ill., No. 00 CR 17, Sept. 25, 2000


Fujii (defendant) was charged with fraud in connection with the entry of two Chinese nationals into the United States. The prosecution alleged that Fujii filled out handwritten immigration forms at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that assisted in the fraudulent entry. The forms were filled out in handprint, as opposed to cursive. Fujii was a native Japanese writer. The prosecution sought to introduce the testimony of Karen Cox, a handwriting expert, who would testify that Fujii’s handwriting matched the handwriting on the immigration forms. Fujii filed a motion to exclude Cox’s testimony. The court held an admissibility hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). After the hearing, Fujii also submitted an affidavit of an expert in analyzing the handwriting of Japanese students. The affidavit stated that Japanese students focus on the uniformity of the individual characters in their writing. As a result the affidavit stated, it would be particularly difficult for a handwriting expert to discern even minor differences in the handwriting of Japanese writers.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gottschall, J.)

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