Red Sox Fans Gave Yankees Hat-Wearing Man A Fair Trial, U.S. Court of Appeals Rules


It turns out Boston Red Sox fans can make fair decisions in court about New York Yankees fans after all.

In a pretty strange ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals decided to throw out the appeal of a Rhode Island man, who, among other things, claimed he was convicted because of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

David Alcantara was sentenced to five years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to pass counterfeit currency. Witnesses identified Alcantara by his Yankees cap, so naturally, it was a talking point in his trial. But when he claimed the cap was why a Rhode Island jury convicted him, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston shut him down.

“(Alcantara) argues that a handful of references to his wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap prejudiced the jury (which he assumes to have been composed of Boston Red Sox fans) against him,” the court ruled, via Universal Hub. “As an initial matter, all but two of the cited references occurred during defense counsel’s cross-examination. In any event, this testimony, like the references to luxury vehicles discussed above, was relevant to the witnesses’ knowledge of Alcantara and his appearance. Any possibility of unfair prejudice was ameliorated when the district court explicitly instructed the Rhode Island jury not to hold Alcantara’s wearing of a Yankees hat against him.”

So if any Red Sox fans were thinking of wearing their team’s cap to commit crimes in New York, just know you won’t get away with it. You’re much better off not committing any crimes in the first place.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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