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United States v. IMM
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
747 F.3d 754 (2013)
IMM (defendant), a juvenile, was charged under federal law for sexually abusing his then six-year-old cousin. At trial, the government (plaintiff) called the cousin’s younger brother to testify against IMM. The trial-court judge examined the child’s competency by asking questions regarding his understanding of the importance of telling the truth, and the judge determined that the child was competent to testify. On cross-examination, the defense elicited testimony that the child did not recall what happened and that he was told what to say by his mother. Nevertheless, IMM was ultimately convicted of the charges. On appeal, IMM argued that the child’s testimony should have been excluded because the child could not understand what an oath requires and thus was not competent to testify.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Reinhardt, J.)
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