United States v. Jacque, No. 11-2142 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
After obtaining an indictment against Jacques for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 12-year-old girl, the government filed a Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty. Included in the Notice, as required by the Federal Death Penalty Act, 18 U.S.C. 3591, were allegations of aggravating factors the government proposed to put before the jury in the penalty phase that would follow a conviction. These factors included allegations of six prior rapes and an attempt to obstruct justice by influencing the testimony of a juvenile witness/victim. In pre-trial orders, the judge struck allegations of three of the prior rapes and suppressed evidence of the attempt to obstruct justice as having been obtained in violation of the Sixth Amendment. The Second Circuit affirmed exclusion of evidence of two of the alleged prior rapes, remanded the third for reconsideration, leaving the outcome to the district court’s discretion, and vacated exclusion of evidence of the attempted obstruction of justice.