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United States v. Distler

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 20340
Nos. No. 79-5339, 671 F.2d 954/15 ERC 1711/(6th Cir., 02/12/1981) Aff'd

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms appellant's criminal conviction, 9 ELR 20700, for discharging toxic pollutants into the sewers of Louisville, Kentucky, in violation of §§301, 307, and 309 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). In accordance with §309(c)(1) of the FWPCA, appellant, who is the owner of a liquid waste disposal company, was fined $50,000 and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Appellant challenges several evidentiary rulings made at trial. The court first rules the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted challenged grand jury testimony because when a witness only partially recalls events it is not improper to admit a prior statement that otherwise complies with the limitations of FED. R. EVID. 801(d)(1). The court also finds that admitting grand jury testimony as substantive evidence does not violate the Confrontation Clause, set forth in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, as long as declarant testifies at trial and is subject to cross-examination. The court next holds that because the record indicates clearly that the oil matching procedures involved in this case are generally accepted in the scientific field as highly reliable, the lower court did not err in admitting expert testimony on this matter. Lastly, the court concludes that contrary to appellant's contention, the evidence presented to the jury does in fact support the verdict.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (10 pp. $1.75, ELR Order No. C-1237).

Counsel for Appellant
Frank E. Haddad Jr.
529 Kentucky Home Life Bldg., Louisville KY 40202
(502) 583-4881

Counsel for Appellee
John L. Smith, U.S. Attorney
U.S. P.O. & Cthse. Bldg., Rm. 2111, Louisville KY 40202
(502) 582-5911

Raymond W. Mushal
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2735

James R. Williams, U.S. Attorney
201 Superior Ave NE. Rm. 400, Cleveland OH 44114
(216) 522-4392

Brown, J., joined by Edwards and Kennedy, JJ.