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UNITED STATES v. MOHANLAL

October 25, 1994

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
BABOOLAL MOHANLAL, Defendant.


McKenna


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LAWRENCE M. MCKENNA

McKENNA, D.J.

 Defendant moves, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 33, for a new trial. Defendant was convicted, after a jury trial, of sending threatening communications through the mails. 18 U.S.C. § 876. Defendant asserted, and the jury rejected, the defense that "at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts." 18 U.S.C. § 17(a).

 I.

 Defendant's first two arguments are directed to the testimony of Rev. Walter Enquist concerning defendant's state of mind during the period in which the threatening communications were made, most specifically to Rev. Enquist's following answers to the following questions, to which an objection was made:

 
Q. Rev. Enquist, do you have an opinion as to whether the defendant knew the difference between right and wrong during the summer of 1992?
 
MR. ADLER: Objection.
 
THE COURT: Overruled.
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. What is that opinion?
 
A. That he knows the difference between right and wrong.
 
Q. What is your basis for that opinion?
 
A. Well, knowing him and knowing something about psychology.

 Defendant argues, first, that the testimony violated the clergy-communicant privilege, and, second, that the testimony ...


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