WINTER, Circuit Judge:
Clarence C. Elmore has appealed from the judgment entered on his conviction for violation of 26 U.S.C.A. § 7201. He was indicted in two counts of wilfully attempting to evade federal income taxes by filing false and fraudulent returns which understated his taxable income and consequent tax liability for the years 1962 and 1963. The jury acquitted as to 1962, but returned a verdict of guilty on the 1963 count. We affirm.
Elmore's assigned errors and the context in which they arose are set forth below.
At trial the government employed the net worth plus nondeductible expenses method in order to establish its case. As a part of this process evidence of Elmore's reported and corrected taxable income and expenditures during 1962 and 1963 was introduced. He claims that two items of evidence were improperly admitted against him.
The first was a notebook which the government subpoenaed from a woman who had been Elmore's receptionist in 1962-1963. The notebook contained data relating to his travel expenses. Elmore claimed that the notebook was his personal property and moved to suppress. At the hearing on the motion the district judge indicated that he would "probably" admit the evidence if and when it was offered, but he apparently made no formal ruling on the matter at that time. When the government subsequently offered the notebook at trial, however, defense counsel stated that he had no objection to its admission.
We think that under these circumstances the affirmative statement that defendant did not object constituted a conscious and knowing relinquishment of any right to have the notebook suppressed. Lawn v. United States, 355 U.S. 339, 353-355, 78 S.Ct. 311, 2 L.Ed. 2d 321 (1958); Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 82 L.Ed. 1461 (1938). But in any event, despite some self-contradiction, the receptionist's testimony taken as a whole makes it clear that the records in the notebook were compiled on her own initiative to assist her in the performance of her own duties. Therefore, we conclude that the records were not Elmore's private books and that their compulsory production did not violate any constitutional stricture.
The government also introduced a document in which Elmore's son-in-law, Patrick West, had recorded mortgage payments which Elmore had made to West.
We need not decide whether or not this document would be admissible under § 1732, for we have concluded that it constitutes a declaration against West's pecuniary interest. The document is a declaration by West that the debt which Elmore owed him had been reduced by the amount of the recorded payments. The requirement that the declarent be unavailable to testify is satisfied by the fact that West successfully asserted his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination and declined to answer any questions about the matter. McCormick, Law of Evidence (1954 ed.) § 257, at 554 n. 11. Finally, on cross-examination Elmore himself identified the document and admitted all of the payments which it disclosed.
Elmore also claims that the government violated the principle enunciated in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), by failing, upon request, to disclose material evidence favorable to the accused.
At trial the government attempted to prove that Elmore had received unreported taxable income from bribes which he accepted as commissioner of the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. The government called as a witness a certain Brawley, who had been employed during 1963 by a distilling company. Brawley testified that he and his superior, a man named Manning, paid Elmore a $500 bribe in 1963 to secure the privilege of having their brand of liquor sold in the West Virginia state liquor stores. According to Brawley, Manning obtained the $500 from the company but the source within the company was not disclosed.
Brawley was then permitted to testify to a similar bribe in 1964. At that time a check for $500 had been made out by the president of the company, John Turner, and made payable to Manning. Brawley did not say why Turner sent this check to Manning, but he did testify that on the latter's orders he cashed the check and arranged for the proceeds to be delivered to Elmore in return for a continuation of the privilege of doing business in the state liquor stores.
Brawley was apparently a surprise witness, and we assume that prior to his appearance on the stand the defense had no reason to expect that Manning and Turner were in any way relevant to the case. During the four days which followed Brawley's testimony, defense counsel attempted to find, interview, and subpoena Manning and Turner. Manning was located, and the defense expected to present him as a witness, but for reasons which do not appear in the record he never took the stand.
Turner could not be located, however. Counsel then repeated an unsuccessful pretrial motion for the production and disclosure of any exculpatory statements made by Turner.
In Brady the Supreme Court held that the prosecutor has a duty, upon request, to disclose material evidence favorable to the accused. On two occasions we have applied this doctrine. Hamric v. Bailey, 386 F.2d 390, 392-393 (4 Cir. 1967); Barbee v. Warden, 331 F.2d 842, 847 (4 Cir. 1964). See also United States ex rel. Meers v. Wilkins, 326 F.2d 135 (2 Cir. 1964). In all three of these cases, however, the government did not disclose exculpatory information in its possession either before or during trial. In each the information suppressed was unquestionably exculpatory; here its excusatory effect was more questionable.
In Hamric we held that "disclosure to be effective must be made at a time when the disclosure would be of value to the accused." 386 F.2d at 393. E. g., United States v. Gleason, 265 F.Supp. 880, 885 (S.D.N.Y. 1967). Manifestly, a more lenient disclosure burden on the government would drain Brady of all vitality. Against the background of this holding, Elmore claims that disclosure here was of no value to him because it came so late in the trial that he was unable through due diligence to secure Turner's presence. Turner's relevance was first disclosed in Brawley's testimony on September 16, 1968. The defense opened its case on September 19. The trial ended on September 25. During the interim the court recessed for two full days and for most of a third. Even if we assume, however, that this time was insufficient for reasonable efforts to be successful, we note that defense counsel did not request a continuance for whatever further time might have been necessary.
Furthermore, under these circumstances we think that at the most the government should have only been required under Brady to disclose Turner's statement after Brawley had testified. If the statement had been produced in response to Elmore's pretrial motion for disclosure, there was a substantial probability that Brawley would have been suspected as a surprise hostile witness.
The government should have promptly disclosed the statement as soon as Brawley was called as a witness. At that point there was no further justification for withholding it, and we do not think
Finally, aside from the risk that if produced as a witness Turner might have invoked his constitutional right not to testify, he would have been of little assistance to Elmore even if he had testified that the check was given to Manning to deliver as a campaign contribution and not as a bribe. Such testimony would not necessarily have contradicted Brawley because Manning could have used the funds for a bribe even though Turner intended them as a political contribution. Also, Brawley only testified that the funds came from Turner and did not attempt to identify Turner's purpose. Moreover, for the same reason, Turner could not have provided strong support for Elmore's assertion that the 1964 money was offered by Manning and accepted by him as a political contribution. In short, the slim exculpatory effect of Turner's testimony adds additional support for our conclusion, stemming from the other considerations that we have discussed, that Elmore was not denied a fair trial in violation of Brady.
In his closing arguments to the jury, the government prosecutor made several intemperate assertions which the defendant claims were so inflammatory and prejudicial as to deny him a fair trial.
We disapprove of the prosecutor's remarks. As the Supreme Court held in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 85, 88, 55 S.Ct. 629, 633, 79 L.Ed. 1314 (1935), the prosecutor has a constitutional duty to refrain from "insinuations and assertions calculated to mislead the jury * * * [and] produce a wrongful conviction." The remarks here were intemperate, unnecessary, and unjustifiable. They needlessly and improperly created a possibility of prejudice to the defendant. We are satisfied, however, that actual prejudice did not occur so that reversal would only serve the purpose of punishing the prosecutor. For this purpose a reversal would be, in Judge Learned Hand's words, "an immoderate penalty." United States v. Lotsch, 102 F.2d 35, 37 (2 Cir.), cert. den., 307 U.S. 622, 59 S.Ct. 793, 83 L.Ed. 1500 (1939).
Much of the possibility of prejudice created by these remarks could have been prevented or at least ameliorated had defense counsel promptly attempted to intervene and object. Instead, counsel sat silently throughout the entire summation. Only at its conclusion did counsel act, and then it was not to request cautionary instructions, but, to move for a mistrial.
See also Birnbaum v. United States, 356 F.2d 856, 866 (8 Cir. 1966); United States v. Ramos, 268 F.2d 879, 880 (2 Cir. 1959). We think that the concern for judicial efficiency and adversary fairness which the Socony Court evidenced also requires defense counsel promptly to make his objection known so that the district judge can quickly caution the jury and prevent further prosecutorial intemperance.
In Socony, however, the Supreme Court also indicated that even in the absence of a timely objection an appellate court could in "exceptional circumstances" notice intemperate remarks if they were "obvious, or if they otherwise seriously affect[ed] the fairness, integrity or public reputation of [the] judicial proceedings." 310 U.S. at 239, 60 S.Ct. at 851. The Court also held that a prosecutor's statements can be "undignified and intemperate" and fail to "comport with the standards of propriety to be expected" without prejudicing the defendant:
Id., at 239-240, 60 S.Ct. at 852.
We think that this conviction survives these various standards. First, a reading of the entire argument before the jury leaves us with the "firm conviction" that the prosecutor's intemperate remarks were relatively "isolated" and "not at all reflective of the quality of the argument as a whole." United States v. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., 310 U.S. 150, 242, 60 S.Ct. 811, 853, 84 L.Ed. 1129 (1940). The remarks of which Elmore complains comprise at most only about a dozen lines in approximately forty-five pages of government summation. See United States v. Ramos, 268 F.2d 879, 880 (2 Cir. 1959). Furthermore, the district judge, whose feel for the realities of this episode was necessarily more acute than our own, concluded that the remarks were not "that prejudicial" so as to warrant a new trial. In short, this case is a far cry from Berger where the Supreme Court found that prosecutorial "misconduct was pronounced and persistent, with a probable cumulative effect upon the jury which cannot be disregarded as inconsequential."
295 U.S. at 89, 55 S.Ct. at 633, 79 L.Ed. 1314. See also e. g., Viereck v. United States, 318 U.S. 236, 247-248, 63 S.Ct. 561, 87 L.Ed. 734 (1943) (dictum); Wallace v. United States, 281 F.2d 656, 667-668 (4 Cir. 1960); United States v. American Die and Instrument Works, Inc., 213 F.2d 731, 732-734 (3 Cir. 1954).
Second, the district judge's instructions were sufficient to dissipate most if not all of whatever prejudice had
While these instructions omitted any specific caution to the jury with respect to the prosecutor's remarks, we think that defense counsel was at least partially responsible for this omission. Although counsel indicated after he moved for a mistrial that he wanted a specific charge, from later events the district judge was understandably left with the impression that the defense did not want the matter brought to the jury's attention again, as defense counsel himself admitted at trial. Cf., Johnson v. United States, 318 U.S. 189, 201, 63 S.Ct. 549, 87 L.Ed. 704 (1943). In any event, since the jury acquitted on one of the two counts, we are not without some assurance that the instructions which were given were adequate to ensure that the jury was not diverted from its duty. Beard v. United States, 222 F.2d 84, 95 (4 Cir. 1955).
Finally, the prosecutor's several references to corruption rested on "a reasonable basis in the evidence," as Brawley's testimony, for example, indicated, and the government was entitled to make some reference to these matters since they related to the source of the unreported income. United States v. Sawyer, 347 F.2d 372, 374 & n. 5 (4 Cir. 1965).
Lastly, Elmore claims that the jury verdicts of acquittal on count one and guilty on count two were inconsistent. This claim is without merit. A sufficient answer is to repeat that Brawley's testimony related only to the 1963 count and that the district judge repeatedly instructed the jury to consider the two counts separately.