Monday, April 07, 2014

404(b) evidence properly admitted; district court did not abuse discretion in refusing to sever defendants' trials

U.S. v. Shaw, 2014 WL 1047040 (3/19/14) (Col.) (unpub'd) - In this aggravated sexual abuse case, FRE 404(b) evidence of other sexual assaults and threats were admissible to show a common scheme or plan to get fellow inmates to pay for protection or be subjected to sexual abuse. It was not an abuse of discretion to refuse to sever the defendants even though some of the 404(b) evidence was not admissible against all the defendants. The 10th didn't think having less 404(b) evidence would have made a difference in the outcome of the severed trials. And, of course, there were limiting instructions to protect the defendants in the joint trial.