Memorandum in Support of United States' Motion in Limine to Prevent Defendantsfrom Introducing Evidence Regarding the Effects of Punishment or a Conviction

Date: 
Monday, April 20, 1998
Document Type: 
Evidentiary Motions, Memoranda, and Orders
This document is available in two formats: this web page (for browsing content) and PDF (comparable to original document formatting). To view the PDF you will need Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded from the Adobe site. For an official signed copy, please contact the Antitrust Documents Group.


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                  v.

ATLAS IRON PROCESSORS, INC.,
et al.,

         Defendants.

|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|       

CASE NO. 97-0853-CR-NESBITT

Magistrate Judge Robert L. Dubé
(February 11, 1998, Order of Reference)

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES' MOTION IN LIMINE
TO PREVENT DEFENDANTS FROM
INTRODUCING EVIDENCE
REGARDING THE EFFECTS OF
PUNISHMENT OR A CONVICTION

Evidence regarding punishment or the effects of conviction has traditionally been held to be irrelevant, and therefore, inadmissible before the jury. As the Eleventh Circuit's criminal pattern jury instructions provide, "[T]he question of punishment should never be considered by the jury in any way in deciding the case. If the Defendant is convicted the matter of punishment is for the Judge to determine." Devitt and Blackmar concur: "The punishment provided by law for the offenses charged in the indictment is a matter exclusively within the province of the court and should never be considered by the jury in any way in arriving at an impartial verdict as to the offenses charged." Devitt and Blackmar, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions, § 20.01 (4th ed. 1992). In a criminal prosecution, the jury's sole function is to determine guilt or innocence, for the applicable statutes do not lodge with the jury the responsibility of imposing sentence. See United States v. McCracken, 488 F.2d 406, 423 (5th Cir. 1974).(1)

Evidence which relates to the issue of punishment upon conviction of a criminal violation has no bearing on the only question the jury will be called upon to decide -- that of the defendants' guilt or innocence. Evidence dealing with any collateral consequences of conviction, such as the future bankruptcy of a defendant corporation or the insinuation that the defendant corporation's employees will lose their jobs is similarly not probative of the issue of guilt or innocence. Since such evidence would not tend to prove or disprove any fact of consequence to the jury's determination of guilt or innocence, such evidence is irrelevant, as defined by Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Such evidence should, therefore, be excluded under Rule 402, which provides that irrelevant evidence is inadmissible.

    Respectfully submitted,
WILLIAM J. OBERDICK
Acting Chief
Cleveland Field Office
_______________________________
RICHARD T. HAMILTON, JR.
Court I.D. No. A5500338

PAUL L. BINDER
Court I.D. No.A5500339

IAN D. HOFFMAN
Court I.D. No. A5500343

Trial Attorneys,
U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
Plaza 9 Building
55 Erieview Plaza, Suite 700
Cleveland, OH 44114-1816
Phone:(216) 522-4107
FAX: (216) 522-8332


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that true and correct copies of the following:

  1. Demand Of Notice Pursuant To Rule 12.1 Of Defendant Anthony J. Giordano, Sr.'s Intention To Offer Defense Of Alibi;
  2. Demand Of Notice Pursuant To Rule 12.1 Of Defendant Anthony J. Giordano, Jr.'s Intention To Offer Defense Of Alibi;
  3. Demand Of Notice Pursuant To Rule 12.1 Of Defendant David Giordano's Intention To Offer Defense Of Alibi;
  4. Demand Of Notice Pursuant To Rule 12.1 Of Defendant Randolph J. Weil's Intention To Offer Defense Of Alibi;
  5. Memorandum In Support Of United States' Motion In Limine To Exclude Evidence Of Reasonableness; and
  6. Memorandum In Support Of United States' Motion In Limine To Prevent Defendants From Introducing Evidence Regarding The Effects Of Punishment Or A Conviction.

were sent via Federal Express to the Office of the Clerk of Court on this 20th day of April, 1998. Copies of the above-captioned pleadings also were served upon the defendants via Federal Express on this 20th day of April, 1998.

Benedict P. Kuehne, Esq.
Sale & Kuehne, P.A.
Nationsbank Tower, Suite 3550
100 Southeast 2nd Street
Miami, FL 33131-2154

Robert C. Josefsberg, Esq.
Podhurst, Orseck, Josefsberg,
Eaton, Meadow, Olin & Perwin, P.A.
City National Bank Building, Suite 800
25 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130-1780

Roberto Martinez, Esq.
Colson, Hicks, Eidson, Colson
Matthews, Martinez & Mendoza, P.A.
First Union Financial Center 47th Floor
200 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33131-2351

WILLIAM J. OBERDICK
Acting Chief
Cleveland Field Office

                    Ralph E. Cascarilla, Esq.
Walter & Haverfield
1300 Terminal Tower
Cleveland, OH 44113-2253

Patrick M. McLaughlin, Esq.
McLaughlin & McCaffrey, L.L.P.
Ohio Savings Plaza, Suite 740
1801 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, OH 44114-3103

Marc S. Nurik, Esq.
Ruden, McClosky, Smith,
Shuster & Russell, P.A.
Post Office Box 1900
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302

_______________________________
RICHARD T. HAMILTON, JR.
Court I.D. No. A5500338
Trial Attorney,
U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
Plaza 9 Building
55 Erieview Plaza, Suite 700
Cleveland, OH 44114-1816
Phone: (216) 522-4083
FAX: (216) 522-8332


FOOTNOTES

1. The McCracken court held,

Generally speaking, jurors decide the facts in accordance with the rules of law as stated in the instructions of the court. . . . To inform the jury that the court may impose minimum or maximum sentence, will or will not grant probation, when a defendant will be eligible for a parole, or other matters relating to disposition of the defendant, tend to draw the attention of the jury away from their chief function as sole judges of the facts, open the door to compromise verdicts and to confuse the issue or issues to be decided.

McCracken, 488 F.2d at 423 (quoting Pope v. United States, 298 F.2d 507, 508 (5th Cir. 1962)) .

Attachments: 
Download 3904.pdf (14.17 KB)
Updated June 30, 2015