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US v. Edwards, No. 08-1124

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By FindLaw Staff on September 14, 2009 4:23 PM

Sentence and conviction of a defendant for distributing illegal drugs is affirmed in part and vacated in part and remanded where: 1) the practical question is not whether Miranda warnings given to a defendant became "stale" or whether the "totality of the circumstances" indicates that the inculpatory statement was made knowingly, it is whether the defendant when he gave the statement didn't realize he had a right to remain silent, and here, the Miranda form told defendant that he had the right to remain silent and the presumption should be that he would remember this even if some time had elapsed between his receiving the warnings and undergoing the questioning that elicited the inculpatory statement; 2) district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting defendant's prior conviction for selling drugs as it was relevant to an issue in the case and the probative weight of the evidence was not substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect or by its propensity to confuse or mislead the jury; 3) prosecutor did not commit improper vouching of witness; 4) prosecutor's rhetorical question regarding the testimony of an officer was improper vouching but harmless; and 5) defendant's sentence is vacated as the district judge gave no reason for his belief that the $765 found on defendant had to be proceeds from selling crack.   

Read US v. Edwards, No. 08-1124

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division
Argued May 6, 2009
Decided September 14, 2009

Judges

Before Easterbrook, Chief Judge, and Posner and Wood, Circuit Judges 

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

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