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Monday, May 14, 2007

Ind. Decisions - One Indiana case decided today by 7th Circuit

In USA v. Eddie Lee Strong (SD Ind., John Daniel Tinder, Judge), a 12-page opinion, Judge Ripple writes:

A jury found Eddie Strong, a felon, guilty of possessing ammunition but acquitted him of possessing a firearm. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). He was sentenced to 62 months’ imprisonment. Evidence was admitted at trial demonstrating that drugs were sold at the house where the firearm and ammunition were discovered. Mr. Strong challenges the admission of this evidence as irrelevant and prejudicial. Because this evidence tended to prove Mr. Strong’s knowing possession of the drugs and the firearm and because it was not unduly prejudicial, we affirm his conviction. * * *

We recognize that a sizeable amount of uncharged conduct was admitted in this case. However, considering the significant linkage of drug trafficking and firearms, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion by determining that it was proper for the jury to be made aware of the substantial likelihood that drugs were being dealt at 612 East 5th Street. See generally United States v. Thompson, 359 F.3d 470, 479 (7th Cir. 2004) (explaining that “all probative evidence is prejudicial to the party against whom it is offered . . . the relevant inquiry is whether there was unfair prejudice”) (emphasis in original).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 14, 2007 12:49 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions