schulhofer_s04.doc - I THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Three goals of institutions of criminal justice – how do you set up a system that satisfies all

schulhofer_s04.doc - I THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Three...

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I. THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM - Three goals of institutions of criminal justice – how do you set up a system that satisfies all three? o Control crime o Satisfy social demand for punishment o Control government itself – fair and predictable in operation - Retribution, deterrence, punishment - Proportionality of punishment to culpability II. PROOF - Evidence o People v. Zackowitz (1930) - Z shot and killed Coppola. Told police he armed himself at home, at trial said he carried the gun at all times. Owned a large assortment of guns. Issue at trial is premeditation – jury says yes. Issue at appeal is admissibility of evidence that he had the weapons at home. Cardozo concedes that the evidence is relevant but that is outweighed by its prejudicial effect on the D. Three points: To make something relevant (and presumptively admissible), very slender probative value is sufficient Even when evidence is relevant, it can’t be admitted if the probative value is outweighed by prejudicial effect Evidence suggesting a bad propensity is automatically assumed to be too prejudicial although it is relevant . o Admissible evidence must pass rules 401, 403, 404(b). FRE 401 – “relevant evidence means evidence being any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence” (even a small change in probability created by the evidence would render it relevant) – defines probative FRE 402 – irrelevant evidence is inadmissible FRE 403 – “although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice Prejudice is “the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury.” Character is prejudicial because it is relevant . Evidence of bad character inadmissible b/c always has prejudicial effect, but evidence of good character generally admissible. Problem lies with jury inability to weight character with proper relevance Find: technical definition of relevancy, technical definition of prejudicial, idea of inappropriate relevance FRE 404(b) evidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake of accident. o Exceptions Listed in 404(b) (dissent in Zackowitz ) FRE 413 sex crimes - in a criminal case in which the D is accused of an offense of sexual assault, evidence of the D’s commission of another offense or offenses of sexual assault is admissible, and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant.
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