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United States v. Armstrong

Citation. United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456, 116 S. Ct. 1480, 134 L. Ed. 2d 687, 64 U.S.L.W. 4305, 96 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3351, 9 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 559 (U.S. May 13, 1996)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Defendants in a drug case alleging selective prosecution based on race.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

In a selective-prosecution claim “in order to dispel the presumption that a prosecutor has not violated equal protection, a criminal defendant must present ‘clear evidence to the contrary.’” This standard applies to a motion for discovery from the prosecutor.


Multiple parties were indicted for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack and conspiring to distribute it. Informants bought several grams from the respondents. Agents arrested the respondents, discovering drugs and a gun. The respondents filed a motion for discovery or dismissal of the indictment, alleging selective prosecution, arguing that they had been singled out because they were black. The Government was ordered to provide the discovery. When it refused, the case was dismissed.”


Whether defendant met “the showing necessary.

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