Brief Fact Summary. A Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) agent and an informant went undercover in order to obtain evidence sufficient to arrest the defendant on charges of cocaine trafficking.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An out of court statement made by someone other then the declarant, which is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, namely that someone is in fact guilty of criminal charges, is hearsay, and may be so prejudicial as to warrant reversal of a resultant conviction on those charges.
Issue. Whether the statements by the agent that another agency had tipped off the DEA that the defendant was drug smuggler constituted reversible error?
Held. Yes. The statements were made out of court by someone other then the declarant, and they were offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. They were not offered to prove state of mind, which was irrelevant, but rather to show that the defendant was, in fact, a drug smuggler. These statements were inadmissible under Federal Rules of Evidence (“F.R.E.”) Rules 802, 403 and 404(b).
A special parole term following the end of a 7 year sentence imposed on Tebha is either meaningless or, if meaningful, unconstitutional (a) for failure to state a fixed period of imprisonment for violation of the special parole or, alternatively, (b) for failure to give any judge at any time specific authority to determine, within statutorily defined limits, the period of imprisonment for violation of the special parole.View Full Point of Law