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Unformatted text preview: cord of Turner's two 1976 juvenile offenses for burglary
and strong-arm robbery were noted in a "rap" sheet of the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement which was attached to a 1979 court file in an adjoining county pertaining to
criminal charges brought against Turner for an attack on his former wife. As noted by
appellant, the records of Turner's juvenile arrests were sealed [**55] by court order; the
only way they could have become a part of the court file in the adult case was by mistake.
The trial court ruled, nevertheless, that in view of the fact that the rap sheet appeared as a
part of the public records, open to inspection by any person, it became a matter of public
information and could be introduced into evidence.
We agree that an employer should not be held responsible for information contained in
records of juvenile arrests or dispositions which are confidential and under court seal.
However, even if it be assumed that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the
jury to have access to the rap sheet disclosing Turner's juvenile records, we are of the
opinion that the error was harmless. While the arrests for armed robbery and burglary
indicate a propensity for unlawful conduct, Turner had other arrests as an adult and a
conviction of a serious charge involving violence to the person of another, namely, the
knife attack on his former wife. In view of the extent of the other evidence disclosing
Turner's unfitness for employment or retention, we are of the view that the disclosure of
his juvenile arrests was cumulative and could not have had [**56] any bearing on the
outcome of this case. We therefore conclude that any error in the admission of the
juvenile records was harmless.
Turning to another alleged trial error, appellant argues that the testimony given by
appellee's expert, Professor White, concerning Turner's potential for danger given his
history prior to the attack on Harrison was improper and inadmissible. Appellant
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- Spring '08