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United States v. Vance

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
764 F.3d 667 (2014)


Facts

The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted David Vance (defendant) for robbing two banks and murdering a man during the second robbery. At trial, one of Vance's two accomplices, Alton Marshall, testified about the methods the trio employed to rob three restaurants on the night before the first bank robbery. Marshall's testimony showed that Vance's methods that night were similar to methods that eyewitnesses said one member of the trio used during the bank robberies and murder. The similarity of methods made it more likely that Vance was that robber. Two other witnesses testified as to Vance's role in the bank robberies, and DNA evidence linked Vance to those robberies. The jury convicted Vance. On appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Vance contended that the trial judge erred in admitting Marshall's testimony because it violated Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b)'s prohibition against introducing evidence of a defendant's propensity to commit crimes.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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