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U.S. v. CARMEN

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


March 17, 2004.

UNITED STATES, Plaintiff;
v.
RICHARD CARMEN, Defendant

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD GUZMAN, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant Richard Carmen seeks disclosure of any specific instances of misconduct the government will use to impeach him under Fed.R.Evid. 608(b) should he testify at trial. In response, the prosecution points out that Rule 608(b) contains no notice provision. Further, "[n]o rule or rationale guarantees the defense advance knowledge of legitimate impeachment before it calls a witness." United States v. Baskes, 649 F.2d 471, 477 (7th Cir. 1980). (Government's Consolidated Response, at 7)

In point of fact, plaintiff is not seeking evidence that the government intends to use, as Rule 608(b) does not delineate evidence that the government may actually use in court or introduce at trial, so much as types of conduct which may be inquired about on cross examination of defense witnesses. The rule specifically states that prior instances of conduct being used solely to attack a witness' credibility may not be proven by extrinsic evidence, but only inquired into during cross — examination if they relate to the witness' character for truthfulness. It is, therefore, not evidence that the defense seeks by this motion, but rather insight into what the government knows about the defendant's prior conduct and how it intends to use this knowledge Page 2 at trial. The Court agrees with the government that this goes too far. Further, the information — at least as to the prior conduct, if not the government's intention to use it — is easily available to the defense from the defendant himself. Finally, any particular instances which the defense objects to can be brought to the court's attention in a motion in limine.

  For the reasons stated above defendant's motion for disclosure of Rule 608 evidence of character and conduct is DENIED.

  SO ORDERED. Page 1

20040317

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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