This article discusses a strange case, United States v. Bell, 516 F.3d 432 (6th Cir. 2008), that illustrates the point that, if hard cases make bad law, strange cases sometimes produce surprising appellate decisions. The case began with a domestic violence call to the police, led to a consent search of a home and discovery of drugs and guns, and produced a conviction on drug and weapons charges. Despite the abuse of discretion standard of review and the usual deference appellate courts give to trial judge decisions with respect to the admissibility of uncharged crime evidence, the court of appeals reversed.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 457; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 457
Stephen A. Saltzburg, Rule 404(B) and Reversal on Appeal, 23 Crim. Just. (2008).