The Law School Authority

United States v. Dent Case Brief

Summary of United States v. Dent, 984 F.2d 1453 (1993)

Facts:  Officer stopped ∆s and found gun in the car.  At trial, grand jury testimony of car salesman was admitted which showed that ∆ was with a woman who purchased the car ∆ was driving.  The salesman was not in Jordan.

Issue:  Was the admission of salesman’s grand jury testimony proper?

Holding: No, but harmless error.

Rationale:  The statement was hearsay and it doesn’t fit under any of the exceptions so must be evaluates under rule 804(b)(5).  Furthermore, statement must also satisfy the Confrontation Clause of the sixth Amendment and in order to satisfy it, there must be showing of particularized guarantees of trustworthiness.  In this case, the district court took no such actions to test the trustworthiness and therefore the statement was admitted in error.  But it was harmless error so conviction affirmed.

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