CJUS440-1403B-02: Laws of Evidence
Phase 4 Individual Project
Professor Paul Normann
September 20, 2014
The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) were enacted in 1975 and outline the guidelines for evidence deemed to be admissible in all United States federal courts of law. Rule 1002, also known as the best evidence rule, requires that the original of any document, photograph or recording is to be produced if a party seeks to admit said evidence in a trial court. Provisions for circumstances in which the original is unavailable include that a duplicate of the original can be used as admissible evidence once approved by the court. Accountability is ...view middle of the document...
On appeal, the decision was held based on the claim that wiretapping did not violate the Fourth Amendmentâ€™s proscription regarding illegal search and seizure, citing that it does not apply to wiretaps. The decision was eventually overturned in 1967 by Katz v. United States.
Twice convicted of smuggling, concealing alcohol and conspiracy to do so, Frank Nardone appealed said conviction based on the admission of wiretap evidence obtained without a warrant. Based on the fact that the only real evidence that implicated him in the crimes were declarations of others, who were not declared competent before he was independently connected to the offenses by way of the wiretap evidence. The initial conviction was overturned and the second conviction soon followed. By this time, 1939, the use of illegal wiretap evidence violated the Federal Communications Act.
Goldman v. United States was an appeal on a conviction for conspiracy of the Bankruptcy Act by receiving or attempting to obtain money for acting or forbearing to act in a bankruptcy proceeding. The premise being that a listening device was planted in the defendantâ€™s office building without knowledge of the defendant. It was not the two way conversation information that implicated the defendant, but instead only the conversation portion that was spoken into the telephone receiver. The decision was affirmed based on the finding that words spoken into a telephone receiver that are recorded on a non-wiretap device do not violate constitutional protection, emphasizing that the protection by the statute is of the means of communication, but not the secrecy of the conversation. The recordings were obtained through a detectaphone that was not installed through illegal entry or trespassing.
Ralph Berger was convicted in 1967 for conspiracy to bribe a public official, based on evidence obtained by an office bug that was planted with authorization of the court under New York Code of Criminal Procedure. On appeal, the decision was reversed based on review of the above mentioned statute. The statute allows for contradictory actions in direct violation with the Fourth Amendment. These violations are as follows: electronic eavesdropping is allowed for up to two months and granted an automatic two month extension without judicial authorization if it can be proven thereafter that it is in the best interest of the public, presence of the standard that â€œa reasonable ground to believe that evidence of a crime may be obtainedâ€, no notice to the individual under surveillance nor justification of secrecy, communications sought do not have to be particularly identified, requests only required to contain the targets name and phone number and finally, that there was no return on the warrant so the recordings obtained did not have to be returned to the judge upon completion. Holdings included that the statute was in direct violation with federal law and the court invalidated the law on its face as opposed to how...