Evidence-Wellborn AU2005 Outline

Evidence-Wellborn AU2005 Outline - Evidence Outline...

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Evidence Outline Wellborn, Fall 2005 I. Relevancy FRE 401 “Relevant evidence” means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probably than it would be without the evidence. A. General Principles 1. Relevancy has 2 elements (FRE 401): a. Probative value (does the evidence make a fact more or less probable?) (Ex: If D is accused of breaking into a car at 11 p.m., W’s testimony that she didn’t see D at the crime scene at 9 p.m. is irrelevant b/c it doesn’t make it more or less likely that D was or wasn’t there at 11 p.m.) 1) Sometimes we judge the probative value of something by looking to see if there is any corroborating evidence—if there is nothing else and the evidence is weak to begin with, then the 401 threshold is not met and we say the evidence is not probative a) Ex: In Kotsimpulos (CB 1), D was accused of stealing pork tenderloins b/c they were found in his car; D said that T planted them there and offered as evidence the fact that T said he wanted to get D fired; this was properly rejected b/c it did not make it more probably that T put them there; it would have been admissible if there was other evidence that T was involved 2) This 401 threshold is not difficult to meet, however, because we allow evidence if it tends to make the fact more probable a) Ex: In Nicholas (CB 4), D was accused of rape; a blood test that narrowed the potential group of rapists down to 60% of the population, which included D, was held admissible b/c it made it more probable that D committed the rape; really, this is pretty weak probative evidence (it was much more damning that he was in the town at the time of the rape) but meets the 401 threshold, although it is a good candidate for exclusion under 403 3) Probative value conduct: of flight, escape, and other admissions by conduct a) Depends upon the degree of confidence with which four inferences can be drawn (1) From the D’s behavior to flight (2) From flight to consciousness of guilt (3) From consciousness of guilt to consciousness of guilt concerning the crime charged (4) From consciousness of guilt to concerning crime charged to actual guilt of crime b) Other types of conduct that may have relevance (1) Threats to witnesses (2) Attempt to bride witnesses (3) Refusal to provide handwriting samples (4) Bad faith destruction of documentary evidence (5) Use of false name (6) Flight from the country in disguise using false name c) Occurrence or absence of similar accidents (1) Must show that other accidents occurred under substantially similar circumstances and conditions (a) Even when substantial similarity of circumstance is shown, the evidence is subject to exclusion in the trial court’s discretion on acct of dangers of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues and undue expenditure of time in the trial of collateral issues. (2) Similarly, lack of other accidents may be relevant to show the absence of dangerous condition or
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This note was uploaded on 08/28/2008 for the course N 483 taught by Professor Wellborn during the Summer '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Evidence-Wellborn AU2005 Outline - Evidence Outline...

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