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Tag Archives: Evidence

Criminal Practice – Drug Sentence Based on Informant Hearsay Upheld (access required)

U.S. v. Crawford : A sentencing court could attribute 321 grams of crack cocaine to defendant, based on testimony by a sheriff’s deputy about a federal agent’s telephone interviews with two paid informants who described drug buys from defendant in order to work off their own criminal charges; the 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s sentence of 135 months on drug and firearm convictions.

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Criminal Practice – Evidence – Witness Impeachment – 1987 Manslaughter Convictions – Harmless Error – CSC with a Minor (access required)

State v. Black The trial court erred when it admitted evidence of a defense witness’s 1987 manslaughter convictions for which he was imprisoned until 1993. These convictions did not rest on dishonest conduct and are not particularly probative of the specific trait of truthfulness. Nevertheless, the error was harmless.

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Administrative – Beer & Wine Permit – Constitutional – Due Process – Violations – Evidence (access required)

South Carolina Department of Revenue v. Sandalwood Social Club The Department of Revenue cited respondent for the sole violation of failure to install and maintain a decibel meter on its property on April 2, 2010, in accordance with respondent’s beer and wine permit, a first offense violation for which DOR sought a $500 civil penalty. Nevertheless, the Administrative Law Court’s order listed at least two other violations and suspended respondent’s beer and wine permit and liquor by the drink license for 60 days. The ALC’s consideration of post-citation conduct for any purpose other than the credibility of respondent’s mitigation argument was an abuse of discretion.

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Tort/Negligence – Auto/Train Collision – Crossing Safety – Evidence – Subsequent Remedial Measures – Jury Instructions (access required)

Stephens v. CSX Transportation, Inc. After a collision between a train and a car at a railroad crossing, the defendant-railroad company cut down trees near the crossing. Plaintiff argued that this evidence should have been admitted to impeach the railroad company’s position that the crossing was reasonably safe even with the trees in place.

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