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United States v. Marcantoni

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
590 F.2d 1324 (5th Cir. 1979)


Facts

Charlie and Helen Marcantoni (defendants) were charged with armed bank robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Detective Brodesser searched the Marcantonis’ house with Charlie’s consent and found several hundred dollars in cash. Brodesser recorded the serial numbers from the $10 bills he found, but did not have a warrant so did not seize them. Subsequently, Brodesser learned that the serial numbers he wrote down matched those on the money taken in the bank robbery. Brodesser then obtained a warrant and returned to the Marcantoni house to seize the bills. However, he could not find the bills on this second search of the house. At trial, Brodesser and an expert witness from the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving testified that the bills Brodesser saw at the house were the same bills taken from the bank. The Marcantonis objected on the grounds that the best evidence rule required the prosecution to admit the bills themselves into evidence. The trial court overruled the objection. The trial judge did not give a specific reason for his decision to overrule. The trial court convicted the Marcantonis. They appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tjoflat, 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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