US v. Jefferson, No. 10-30941 - Criminal Law - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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US v. Jefferson, No. 10-30941

In US v. Jefferson, No. 10-30941, the government's appeal from the district court's pretrial order excluding evidence of defendant's prior convictions for purposes of impeachment in a RICO prosecution, the court vacated the order where 1) the court had jurisdiction to hear the appeal under 18 U.S.C. section 3731; and 2) judicial discretion granted with respect to the admissibility of other prior convictions was not applicable to those involving dishonesty or false statements, as defendant's prior convictions did.

As the court wrote:  "Defendants Mose Jefferson and Renee Gill Pratt are charged, inter alia,
with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. On August 21, 2009, Jefferson was convicted of two counts of bribery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(2) and two counts of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3). The government moved to introduce evidence of Jefferson's prior convictions in its case-in-chief as intrinsically related to the conduct at issue in the pending trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). The district court denied the government's motion by written order on August 27, 2010, but stated that "the Government is allowed to use defendant Mose Jefferson's prior conviction for purposes of cross-examination if the defendant testifies."(emphasis in original). Jefferson later made a motion to change venue and Defendants made a joint motion to quash jury venire. In those motions, Defendants raised the issue of voir dire regarding jurors' knowledge of Jefferson's convictions."

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