Trial Court Proceedings Edit
The defendant was convicted of failure to file an income tax return for 1970-1971. At trial, the IRS introduced computerized records showing that no return had been filed. The Government's witness testified in detail as to a variety of verification procedures that are undertaken to insure reliability. It was also established that these records are kept in the normal course of business, and were therefore admissible under the Federal Business Records Rule.
Just prior to trial, the defendant made a motion to compel access to the IRS computers, so that he could check their reliability for himself. The court denied that request on a variety of grounds. First, the defendant made no specific objection as to the machine's accuracy. He merely questioned generally the computer's reliability. Furthermore, the defendant was unable to make a prima facie showing that he had, in fact, filed his return. Finally, since his motion was made one year after his arraignment and only three days before trial, the defendant's request was patently unreasonable.
Appellate Court Proceedings Edit
On appeal, the circuit court agreed that the defendant's motion was clearly untimely.