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United States v. Pacelli

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
491 F.2d 1108 (1974)


Facts

The government (plaintiff) prosecuted Vincent Pacelli, Jr. (defendant) for conspiring to interfere with the constitutional rights of others, specifically alleging that Pacelli killed Patsy Parks to keep her from testifying. Patsy Parks had previously testified to a grand jury investigating drug dealing that a box of money had been delivered to Pacelli. At Pacelli’s trial, the trial court allowed over defense objections, certain testimony of Lipsky, an associate of Pacelli and an eye-witness to the murder. In dispute was Lipsky’s testimony regarding a meeting between some of Pacelli’s friends and family members. Lipsky testified that he was summoned to the meeting where Pacelli’s wife offered him money to induce him to go to Florida. He also testified that the attendees were discussing that the murder had been bungled because the body was so easily found. The government sought to introduce Lipsky’s testimony about the meeting for the implication that people who were close to Pacelli believed he had killed Parks and that the information on which they were acting must have come from Pacelli himself. Pacelli was convicted and appealed the judgment of conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Pacelli claimed that admission of the out-of-court statements in Lipsky’s testimony about the meeting was erroneous because the statements constituted inadmissible hearsay.

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Holding and Reasoning (Mansfield, J.)

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Dissent (Moore, J.)

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