United States v. Clay, No. 16-4303 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The court held that the district court did violate defendant's Fifth and Sixth Amendment right to present testimony in his defense by excluding testimony regarding a detective and officer's presence at his previous federal trial that resulted in mistrial. In this case, the district court's conclusion that the probative value of the testimony was outweighed by the risk of confusion was not arbitrary, unreasonable, or disproportionate. The court also held that the district court did not violate defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses and the district court was well within its wide latitude of discretion when it limited cross-examination on this issue.