Blitz v. United States

In Blitz v. United States, 153 U.S. 308, 312, 14 S.Ct. 924, 925, 38 L.Ed. 725 (1894), where a question seeking to impeach a deputy marshal was not permitted, the court stated: "The question was clearly irrelevant, and was properly excluded. The reasons, whatever they may have been, that induced the witness not to arrest the defendant when the latter voted the second time in the same election, did not throw any light upon the issue to be determined. If the object was to test the accuracy or credibility of the witness, it is quite sufficient to say that the extent to which a cross-examination may be allowed for such a purpose - especially where, as in this case, the question had no reference to any matter disclosed by the examination-in-chief - is largely subject to the sound discretion of the trial court, and the exercise of that discretion is not reviewable upon writ of error; certainly not where the question, upon its face, suggests nothing material to the inquiry whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the specific offense charged in the indictment."