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United States v. Salerno

United States Supreme Court
505 U.S. 317 (1992)


Facts

Salerno et al. (defendants) were charged with RICO violations and other federal crimes. At a grand jury hearing, two owners of a concrete firm allegedly a part of the racketeering ring testified that neither they nor their firm had participated in the ring. At trial, however, the owners of the firm invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. As a result, Salerno et al. sought to introduce the owners’ testimony from the grand jury proceeding under Rule 804(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The district court admitted the testimony and convicted the owners. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed, stating that the “similar motive” requirement of the rule does not apply when the government obtains immunized testimony in a grand jury proceeding from a witness who refuses to testify at trial. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, 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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