Parr v. United States

255 F.2d 86 (5th Cir. 1958)

 

RULE:

It is a general rule that a party is not required to accept a judicial admission of his adversary, but may insist on proving the fact. The reason for the rule is to permit a party to present to the jury a picture of the events relied upon. To substitute for such a picture a naked admission might have the effect to rob the evidence of much of its fair and legitimate weight.

FACTS:

In a jury trial accusing the appellant, Wyman Parr of conspiring to transport in interstate commerce lewd and obscene motion picture film, the Government was permitted to exhibit to the jury some of the obscene motion picture film obtained at a rural cabin. The cabin was purchased by Parr and James Ray Williams. Parr objected to the admission of the exhibits seized at the cabin on the ground that the search warrant was invalid. In his testimony Parr stated that the cabin had been turned over to Bly, the cabin’s lessee, and that Parr had not been up to the cabin. The appellant asserted that the film and photographic equipment in the cabin belonged to Bly. Parr also objected to the admission of the exhibits seized at the cabin because, according to him, the exhibits would tend to arouse the sympathies and prejudices of the jury, so that the admission of the evidence was an error prejudicing his right to a fair and impartial trial.  The jury convicted the defendant of the crime charged.

ISSUE:

Did the district court, through its jury, err in convicting Parr of conspiring to transport in interstate commerce a lewd and obscene motion picture film despite the alleged error in admitting some of the evidence presented at trial?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The Court held that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. The Court held that it was not error to exhibit to the jury some of the film over defendant's objection and offer to stipulate that the film was lewd and obscene. The Court further held that a party is not required to accept a judicial admission of his adversary, but may insist on proving the fact. The Court examined several of defendant's objections to different portions of the district court's jury charge, but held that the charge as a whole fully and fairly presented the issues. Further, the Court ruled that it was not error for the district court to admit evidence of conduct of defendant and his co-conspirators prior to the date laid in the indictment because such activities for a period reasonably proximate shed light upon and tended to establish the conspiracy.

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