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United States v. Noriega

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
117 F.3d 1206 (11th Cir. 1997)


Facts

On February 4, 1988, Manuel Noriega (defendant) was indicted on drug-related charges. Noriega had used his position as commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces in the Republic of Panama to help traffic cocaine into the United States. After declaring war between Panama and the United States and subsequently losing control over Panama during the ensuing combat, Noriega surrendered to United States military officials on January 3, 1990, and was brought to Miami for trial on drug-related charges. Before trial, Noriega attempted to rebut the federal government’s argument that he had unexplained wealth by submitting evidence regarding his intelligence work for the United States and contending that the United States had paid him $10 million to perform these tasks. The federal government objected to the evidence. The district court excluded the evidence, determining that the evidence was irrelevant and, alternatively, that the evidence would confuse the issues before the jury. The district court did, however, allow Noriega to present evidence of the fact, amounts, time, source, and method of conveyance of the money that he allegedly received from the United States. The jury convicted Noriega, and the district court entered judgment accordingly. Noriega appealed his convictions and the district court’s denial of his motion for a new trial.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kravitch, 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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