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Name: U.S. v. Cabrera
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/24/2000
Subsequent History: None

The Court of Appeals reversed the convictions of both appellants for conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of crack cocaine where, at their joint trial, the lead detective injected extraneous, prejudicial material, including impermissible references to appellants’ Cuban origin, such as the fact that the shape of the cocaine, a flat wafer, is indication of Cuban cooks. Appellants did not object to any of this testimony, so the appellate court reviewed for clear error and found the error clear and prejudicial. Most of the “Cuban” references were not relevant. “Formal equality before the law is the bedrock of our legal system, and we are determined that principle will not be undermined.” The matter was reversed and remanded.