United States v. Jacques, No. 11-2142-cr (2d Cir. July 9, 2012) (Winter, Chin, Droney, CJJ)
In this capital case, the district court entered an order excluding some evidence that the government intended to offer at the penalty phase. On this, the government’s interlocutory appeal, the circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part.
Michael Jacques was charged with the kidnaping, rape and murder of a young girl. In the death notice, the government included aggravating factors that it would seek to prove at the penalty phase: allegations of prior rapes, and an attempt to obstruct justice by influencing the testimony of a victim/witness. The district court permitted evidence of two of the prior rapes – one of a juvenile and one of an adult – but struck three of the prior rape allegations, all of which involved juveniles (J2, J3 and J4), finding that the conduct was …