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United States v. Meserve

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
271 F.3d 314 (2001)


Facts

Brian Eugene Meserve (defendant) was convicted of robbery and firearm offenses. During his trial, Meserve called his brother, Kevin, as a witness in his defense. During direct examination, Meserve elicited testimony from Kevin about his relatively recent conviction for unlawful sexual contact. During cross-examination, the government then questioned Kevin whether he had other convictions. Kevin answered that he had. The government then questioned whether the conviction had occurred in 1979, more than 20 years before trial. Meserve’s attorney objected, arguing that the question violated Federal Rule of Evidence 609. The court overruled the objection. The government then questioned Kevin whether he had been in a lot of fights. Meserve’s attorney objected before Kevin’s answer, citing improper character evidence for impeachment. The court overruled the objection. The government then asked three more questions about Kevin’s fighting history, and then Meserve’s attorney again interjected with a continuing objection, arguing that the questions about Kevin’s history for fighting were irrelevant and improper character evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 608. The court permitted the questions. Meserve’s attorney did not move to strike Kevin’s answers to the questions. Following his conviction, Meserve appealed, arguing that the court erred in admitting evidence of Kevin’s prior convictions and character. The government opposed the appeal, arguing that Meserve had not properly preserved the issues for appeal, because he did not timely object and move to strike.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Young, J.)

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