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MARSHALL V. UNITED STATES, 360 U. S. 310 (1959)

U.S. Supreme Court

Marshall v. United States, 360 U.S. 310 (1959)

Marshall v. United States

No. 383

Argued March 25-26, 1959

Decided June 15, 1959

360 U.S. 310


At a jury trial in a Federal District Court in which petitioner was convicted of unlawfully dispensing certain drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 331 (k), the judge refused to permit the Government to introduce evidence that petitioner had previously practiced medicine without a license; but some of the jurors saw and read newspaper articles alleging that he had a record of two previous felony convictions and reciting other defamatory matters about him. Upon being questioned, each of these jurors assured the judge that he would not be influenced by the news articles, and that he could decide the case only on the evidence of record.

Held: the harm to petitioner that resulted when prejudicial information denied admission into evidence was brought before jurors through newspapers requires that a new trial be granted. Pp. 360 U. S. 310-313.

258 F.2d 94, reversed.

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