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Unformatted text preview: E VIDENCE: ALL 4 DA CHITTY I. Relevance A. Introduction General Standard: Rule 401 : Any evidence that has a tendency to make the existence of a consequential fact “more or less probable” is relevant. Rule 402 : All relevant evidence is admissible – save for as provided. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible. Direct Evidence = If believed, necessarily establishes the point offered for. Circumstantial Evidence = Even if believed may fail to establish the point because there are alternative explanations. B. Logical Relevance 1.) Relevant (tend est. what offered for) and Material (on issue in case). 2.) Must be relevant and material to be admitted. 3.) Old Chief v. US (US 1997). 4.) Evidence essentially background in nature gets admitted usually. 5.) Can show circumstances around events. US v. Daily (2d Cir. 1988). 6.) An offer to stipulate does not make the point irrelevant. 7.) Δ not entitled to show that if jury decides was insane that he would be committed (lest they think he would go free). Δ also not entitled to consequences of guilty verdict. US v. Shannon (US 1994). But state may show consequences of the crime (i.e. that morally should convict). See Old Chief . 8.) Often the relevance of circumstantial evidence is obvious. 9.) Proponent should have an “evidentiary hypothesis” if challenged. – a syllogism of form “General premise about human nature, specific premise that links proof to general premise, conclusion.” 10.) Suggested Tests for Relevancy : i.) Makes the point more true than not. ii.) The suggested inference is more probable than any other. iii.) More than minimal probative worth. iv.) If makes point more probable than not. 11.) Evidence of efforts to avoid capture generally admissible; but do not created a “presumption of guilt” or suffice for conviction. Hickory v. US (US 1896). 12.) Courts often suggest that relevancy depends on the reasonableness of the assumption that Δ knew he was under investigation. 13.) Similar kinds of proof: use of aliases or false id; destroyed evidence; suborned perjury; witness tampering; flee detention; suicide attempt; brides. Prosecutors want instructions that allow these and flight to be considered evidence from which jury may infer possible guilt. 1 C. Pragmatic Relevance Rule 403 : Relevant evidence may be excluded if probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, or misleading the jury – or by considerations of delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. 1.) Gives judge broad discretion. 2.) State v. Chapple (AZ 1983) - if “the exhibit is of a nature to incite passion or inflame the jury the court must consider the whether the probative value outweighs the danger of prejudice.” To do so , court must determine importance by determining PURPOSE of offer. If the exhibit has no tendency to (dis)prove any question which is actually contested, they little purpose except to inflame. any question which is actually contested, they little purpose except to inflame....
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course LAW 7xx taught by Professor Hetcher during the Spring '03 term at Vanderbilt.
- Spring '03