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10-1433 U.S. v. Spagnola

Criminal Procedure

A co-conspirator’s statement to police that “oh, then, you have me on conspiracy,” does not require severance of the trials.

“A Bruton violation occurs only if the confession of a non-testifying co-defendant facially incriminates the non-confessing co-defendant. See, e.g., United States v. Brooks, 125 F.3d 484, 501 (7th Cir. 1997). George’s statement neither facially incriminates Spagnola nor implies that he was a co-conspirator. George made the statement after being advised that the government had recorded his communications with the informant; thus, the most reasonable inference to be drawn from the statement is that George was confessing to conspiring, not with Spagnola, but with the informant. Because there was no obvious link between the statement and Spagnola, the district court’s limiting instruction—that pre-trial statements were to be considered only against the defendant who made them—was sufficient. See Richardson v. Marsh, 481 U.S. 200, 208 (1987).”


10-1433 U.S. v. Spagnola

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Leinenweber, J., Adelman, J.

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