Evidance Essay

2222 words - 9 pages

A. Harrison’s. Harrisons firs part of his testimony that he witnessed Tom once angrily beat his sister with a flashlight is admissible. Normally under Character evidence rules you cannot bring in a defendants character to prove that he acted in conformity with a character trait. However it can be brought if he is bringing for a different reason. In this case he is bringing it to show that he had anger intent toward his wife. In order to be able to bring in character evidence in a criminal case the evidence must be pertinent to the charge that’s given. Here the charge is murder.
Character evidence is pretty pertinent in this case. The defense may argue that its different because one is an assault case and one is a murder case. However there is a problem work against the defense in this case. The fist thing is that their Murder is a violent crime. You really cant get, ore violent then murdering your ex wife. Assault is also a violent crime I don’t thing the defense will argue that hitting your ex wife is no violent.
The next problem they defense is that Harrison is testifying to he fact that he had intent. To kill his wife because he was angry with her the last time he hit her. Therefore this time it will be a lot harder for him to claim that he did not have the intent to kill her. The defense may try to argue that this can’t come in because the defendant had not yet raised self-defense. However this would be overruled because the rules allow character evidence to show intent to come in during the plaintiff’s case in chief. This can be offered for substantive evidence since it’s not for impeachment purposes. It’s not being brought up to impeach a testifying witness,
The second part Harrison Testimony most likely cannot be used cannot be used during the prosecutions case in Chief. This is because of the mercy rule, which prevents character evidence from being used against the defendant until after the defendant has opened the door to it, be impeached. This means that since the defense has not yet testified the prosecution is not allowed to put on a witness to testify to a character trait. In this case Harrison testify to the fact that tom has a reputation in his church for being violent.
The way to get it in is after Donald who lives in the same community testifies to the fact that Tom has a peaceful reputation in here community. Once that’s done the door is opened. The first thing that should be done is tried to get it in by impeaching Donald. The defense can now under the rules of reputation ask if he was aware that Tom had a violent reputation according to the members of Tom’s church. Donald will most likely answer that he is unaware of that reputation. However according to the rules that’s the entire prosecutor can do with Donald on this question. He is not allowed to chase down a rabbit hole and bring in extrinsic evidence this point. He...

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