724 F.2d 1339 (9th Cir. 1983), 83-5028, United States v. Falsia

Docket Nº:83-5028.
Citation:724 F.2d 1339
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Joseph FALSIA, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:November 18, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1339

724 F.2d 1339 (9th Cir. 1983)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Joseph FALSIA, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 83-5028.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 18, 1983

Argued and Submitted Aug. 3, 1983.

Page 1340

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1341

Kendra S. McNally, Los Angeles, Cal., for plaintiff-appellee.

Thomas J. Nolan, Miller & Nolan, Inc., Beverly Hills, Cal., for defendant-appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before GOODWIN and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges, and CROCKER, [*] District Judge.

J. BLAINE ANDERSON, Circuit Judge:

Joseph Falsia appeals his conviction on charges of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Appellant Falsia was arrested, along with Carlos Ortiz and Francisco Rodriguez, on July 21, 1982. A federal grand jury had returned a three-count indictment charging Falsia and Ortiz with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of cocaine. Rodriguez was granted immunity from prosecution in return for testimony against Falsia and Ortiz. After Ortiz twice failed to appear for trial, Falsia's case was severed. Falsia was convicted on the conspiracy charge and acquitted on the other two counts.

Prior to trial, the district court refused to admit evidence of a polygraph test with results favorable to Falsia. The trial court also refused Falsia's requested jury instruction that Ortiz was a fugitive, unavailable as a defense witness. Falsia alleges error in both of these refusals. Additionally, error is asserted in the district court's denial of Falsia's motion for a new trial, excluding post-trial declarations of three jurors, and prosecutorial misconduct resulting in a denial of the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation.

II. DISCUSSION

The Polygraph Evidence

The district court refused to admit into evidence the favorable results of a polygraph test given to Falsia at his attorney's request. Falsia argued admission was essential because his credibility was a central issue in the case and the test results were crucial to bolster that credibility. Falsia laid an extensive background for admission of the polygraph results and urged that these facts be sent to the jury for determination of reliability.

The precedent is clear. Although expert testimony relating to polygraph tests may be admissible, admission or exclusion of the evidence is in the sound discretion of the district court. United States v. McIntyre, 582 F.2d 1221...

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