Brief Fact Summary. Defendants were charged with drug crimes for shipping marijuana to Minnesota from Florida. Defendant Joseph Sazenski also went by an alias of Carlos Almaden. At issue is the admissibility of a letter addressed to Sazenski and Almaden.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
The commission of a substantive offense and a conspiracy to commit it are separate and distinct offenses.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Was the letter properly admitted as non-hearsay?
Held. Justice Henley issued the opinion for the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in holding that the letter was properly admitted as it was “admissible nonhearsay.”
Concurrence. Circuit Judge Arnold issued an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part which is omitted.
Discussion. The Court found the letter admissible because it was offered to prove that fiction Almaden lived with Sazenski, and not to prove the contents of the letter itself.