In the case of United States v. Rhodes (Trial by General Court Martial, Fort Mc. Nair, District of Columbia, 1958), Rhodes was accused as espionage. The prosecution offered into evidence microfilm obtained from other spies that asserted that Rhodes had been recruited by the Russians in 1952. The exhibit was offered not to prove the assertions contained therein, but rather to show that the Russians had an inordinate interest Rhodes.
- The mere presence of the Rhodes’ name in the Russian files shows something, even if the specific facts in the Russian files aren’t 100% true.
- Obviously, if the jury hears this evidence it may be misused. But jury misuse is generally not considered when determining whether the statement is offered to prove the truth of the matter contained in it.
- What if the Russians had faked the document? Spies fake documents all the time.
- Of course, that doesn’t mean that the evidence isn’t admissible, it just gives the defense an avenue to argue that the evidence shouldn’t be given much weight.