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The Admissibility of Character Evidence in trial

The Federal Rules of Evidence give guidelines for when evidence about a person's character may be considered admissible in court.

1) What do you think the purpose for having guidelines about the admissibility of character evidence is?

2) Give 3 examples of a situation where character evidence is inadmissible in a criminal trial. The admissibility of character evidence of a victim of rape at the trial of the alleged rapist is a controversial topic.

3) Discuss reasons why a judge might or might not admit character evidence about a rape victim at trial.

Solution Preview

1) The purpose of having guidelines about the admissibility of character evidence pertains to the fallacies of human nature, which would distort and invalidate jury verdicts because many verdicts would hinge on the prior conduct of the defendant or victim as opposed to the crime in question. ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight into federal rules of evidence that set parameters for when character evidence about a person is allowed in trial.

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