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United States v. Montgomery

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
150 F.3d 983 (1998)


Facts

Bernard Vincent Montgomery (defendant) was found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture, conspiracy to distribute, conspiracy to import, and distribution of methamphetamine. He was also convicted of possession of ephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. A co-defendant, Lloyd Ray Buxton (defendant) was also found guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. At trial, Lance Blondin, an employee of a Canadian chemical supply company identified Montgomery at trial as the purchaser of a large quantity of red phosphorous, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. When shown photographs of Montgomery and two other men initially, Blondin identified Montgomery as “Jim Luna,” who had purchased the red phosphorous. Additionally, prior to his testimony, Blondin had requested that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) fax him a photograph of Montgomery, to “have it right in [his] mind that [he] could identify Montgomery.” Blondin also pinned this photo to the wall in his office and looked at it several times prior to testifying. The day before he was scheduled to testify, Blondin entered the courtroom with a DEA agent and looked at Montgomery. Blondin testified that he did so in order to “have it straight in my mind that Montgomery was the fellow that had purchased the chemicals from us…” Montgomery appealed his convictions, arguing that the prosecution impermissibly employed suggestive in-court identification procedures to identify him of the crimes thereby violating his right to due process.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Alarcon, 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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