Scott Patterson

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In Old Chief v. United States, the United States Supreme Court held that a district court abused its discretion under rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence ("Rule 403") when it refused a defendant's offer to stipulate to a prior assault conviction, and instead admitted the full record of the conviction, when the sole purpose of the evidence was to prove the prior conviction element of a felon in possession of a firearm charge. The holding marks the first time the Supreme Court has limited the time-honored principal of allowing the prosecution the freedom to refuse offers to stipulate and to try its case as it sees fit.