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Old Chief v. United States

Citation. Old Chief v. United States, 558 U.S. 1016, 130 S. Ct. 563, 175 L. Ed. 2d 390, 78 U.S.L.W. 3270 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2009)
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Brief Fact Summary.

The defendant, Old Chief (the “defendant”) was arrested after an incident involving at least one gun shot.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

“In this case, as in any other in which the prior conviction is for an offense likely to support conviction on some improper ground, the only reasonable conclusion was that the risk of unfair prejudice did substantially outweigh the discounted probative value of the record of conviction, and it was an abuse of discretion to admit the record when an admission was available.”


The defendant was arrested after an incident involving at least one gun shot. The defendant was charged with various crimes including violating 18 U.S.C. Section: 922(g)(1) which makes it a crime for anyone “who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” to “possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm.

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