Funk V. United States, Case Brief Essay

627 WordsJul 2, 20063 Pages
Case Brief Funk vs. United States Supreme Court of the United States 290 U.S. 371, 54 S. Ct. 212 (1933) Facts: Funk was tried twice and convicted both times in Federal District Court for conspiracy to violate the prohibition law. In the first appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals the decision of the Federal District Court was reversed due to issues not applicable here. 46 F.2d 417. In both trials the defendant called upon his wife to testify on his behalf and she was excluded both times on grounds of incompetency. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals sustained this ruling after both trials. 66 F.2d 70. Issue: What law is applicable to the determination of the competency of the wife of the petitioner as a…show more content…
In 1878 Congress made the defendant in any criminal case a witness at his own request. The Supreme Court stated that "the technical barriers excluding witnesses have been removed, till now it is generally, though perhaps not universally, true that no one is excluded therefrom unless the lips of the originally adverse party are closed by death, or unless someone of those peculiarly confidential relations, like that of husband and wife, forbids the breaking of silence." The Rosen case supported these rulings when a person jointly indicted with Rosen, convicted of conspiracy, was called as a witness by the government. The court sustained the competency of the witness. In all of these cases it is important to note that even though these findings were not based upon statute or law set down by Congress, the idea of these rulings must have been in the mind of the Congress upon the establishment of the federal courts in 1789. The federal courts therefore, in the mind of Congress, were bound by the common law of the state in which the court resided. Citations to Support Judgment: United States v. Reid, 12 How. 361 Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. 263 Rule of Law: The court found that any person, regardless of prior conviction, interest or involvement, or relation to the defendant may be called by the government or the defendant

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