Chapter2 - CHAPTER 2 _ Relevance A. THE DEFINITION OF...

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CHAPTER 2 _________________________________ Relevance A. THE DEFINITION OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE Questions for Classroom Discussion [p. 91] 1. In Jaeger , was the evidence offered to prove a fact of consequence? If so, did it have a tendency to make that fact more or less probable? 2. How would you assess the probative value of the evidence in Jaeger ? What factors would you take into consideration? 3. Prosecution of Defendant for assault and battery on Victim. While sitting in the stands at a football game, Victim was struck in the back by a bullet apparently fired from a handgun. Defendant denies involvement. To prove that Defendant shot Victim, the prosecution calls Witness, who was sitting near Defendant at the time, to testify that she saw Defendant pull something out of his pocket (Witness could not see what it was) and point it in Victim’s direction and that, moments later, there was a loud popping noise and Victim slumped down in her seat. Defendant objects on relevance grounds. How should the court rule? What inferences connect the testimony to a fact of consequence? What generalizations justify those inferences? 4. As noted in the discussion following Jaeger, the first inference in the chain of inferences necessary to determine if witness testimony is relevant is that the testimony is accurate. In Question 3, what reasons might we have to question the accuracy of Witness’s testimony? 5. Same case as in Question 3. The prosecution calls Victim to testify that a week before the shooting, Victim turned down a date with Defendant. Defendant objects on relevance grounds. How should the court rule? 6. Action against a life insurance company for refusing to pay the proceeds of a policy on the life of Deceased. Plaintiff was the beneficiary of Deceased’s insurance policy. The insurance company claims Deceased committed suicide, an act that voids the policy. To prove Deceased took her own life, the insurance company calls Witness to testify that a few days before she died, Deceased called Witness and apologized for something that occurred many years earlier. Plaintiff objects on relevance grounds. How should the court rule? What inferences connect the testimony to a fact of consequence? What generalizations justify those inferences? 1
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7. Same facts as in Question 6. After the court admits Witness’s testimony, Plaintiff wishes to testify that she knew Deceased all her life, and that Deceased was an atheist who did not believe in an afterlife. Is this relevant to prove Deceased did not commit suicide? Is it relevant to prove she did commit suicide? What inferences connect the testimony to either conclusion? What generalizations justify those inferences? 8.
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Chapter2 - CHAPTER 2 _ Relevance A. THE DEFINITION OF...

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