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Evidence Keyed to Sklansky
United States v. Lindemann
Citation:85 F.3d 1232 (7th Cir. 1996)
The defendant was a partial owner of a show horse named “Charisma”. The defendant was accused of arranging for the horse’s death so he could collect the insurance benefits. At trial, an individual, Burns, that was allegedly hired by the defendant to arrange for the horse’s death testified against him. During Burns’ cross-examination, the defendant attacked his credibility by suggesting that he would not have gotten a plea deal if he hadn’t come up with the name of a “big fish” like the defendant. The prosecution rehabilitated Burns by showing that his cooperation was the result of a much larger investigation involving the killing of 15 horses. However, during the rehabilitation, the prosecution asked Burns how many other people who were charged in the conspiracy pleaded guilty. Following the rehabilitation, the district court judge instructed the jury that the fact that other subjects in the investigation may have pled guilty could not be considered to determine the defendant’s guilt. The defendant argued that Burns’ testimony during rehabilitation was improper bolstering.
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