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USA v. Peterson, et al.


Unindicted Co-Conspirators

Commentary

Zachary Bravos

Drs. Bennett Braun, Roberta Sachs, and Corydon Hammond have all been named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case of United States v. Judith Peterson et al., now proceeding in Houston. Lawyer Zachary Bravos describes the implications of this event:

"Being named as unindicted co-conspirators has no bearing on whether or not these individuals will be charged with criminal offenses in the future. If the U.S. Government can establish that they were part of a conspiracy, then any statements they made in the course of and in the furtherance of the aims of the conspiracy can be used as evidence against the charged defendants, i.e. Peterson, Keraga, Seward, Davis and Mueck.

"This not only operates as an exception to the hearsay rule but allows statements made by co-conspirators to be used as evidence against a defendant even though the defendant him/herself was not party to the conversations. The law governing statements by co-conspirators is contained in the Federal Rule of Evidence 801 (d) (2) (E).

"The reason these individuals are not themselves charged with criminal offenses is irrelevant. There can be any number of reasons, including a lapse of the statute of limitations. However, in identifying them as unindicted co-conspirators, the United States is taking the position that these individuals, although not themselves charged with crimes, were part of a criminal conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States."

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