Example Photographs present a classic problem of possible unfair prejudice For

Example photographs present a classic problem of

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Example: Photographs present a classic problem of possible unfair prejudice. For instance, in a murder trial, the prosecution seeks to introduce graphic photographs of the bloodied victim. These photographs would be relevant because, among other reasons, they establish the victim’s death and location of the wounds. At the same time, the photographs present a high danger of unfair prejudice, as they could cause the jurors to feel incredible anger and a desire to punish someone for the vile crime. In other words, the photographs could have an inflammatory effect on the jurors, causing them to substitute passion and anger for reasoned analysis. The defense therefore should object on the ground that any probative value of the photographs is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the defendant. Problems of unfair prejudice often can be resolved by offering the evidence in a matter that retains the probative value, while reducing the danger of unfair prejudice. In this example, the defense might stipulate to the location of the wounds and the cause of death. Therefore, the relevant aspects of the photographs would come in, without the unduly prejudicial effect. Rule 202: CHARACTER . Evidence about the character of a party or witness may not be introduced unless the person’s character is an issue in the case or unless the evidence is being offered to show the truthfulness or untruthfulness of the party or witness. Evidence of character to prove the person’s propensity to act in a particular way is generally not admissible in a civil case.
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29 11/19/14 In a criminal case, the general rule is that the prosecution cannot initiate evidence of the bad character of the defendant to show that he or she is more likely to have committed the crime. However, the defendant may introduce evidence of her good character to show that she is innocent, and the prosecution may offer evidence to rebut the defense’s evidence of the defendant’s character. With respect to the character of the victim, the general rule is that the prosecution cannot initiate evidence of the character of the victim. However, the defendant may introduce evidence of the victim’s good or (more likely) bad character, and the prosecution may offer evidence to rebut the defense’s evidence of the victim’s character. Examples: A limousine driver is driving Ms. Daisy while he is intoxicated and gets into a car accident injuring Ms. Daisy. If Ms. Daisy sues the limousine company for negligently employing an alcoholic driver, then the driver’s tendency to drink is at issue. Evidence of the driver’s alcoholism is admissible because it is not offered to demonstrate that he was drunk on a particular occasion. The evidence is offered to demonstrate that the limousine company negligently trusted him to drive a limousine when it knew or should have known that the driver had a serious drinking problem.
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  • Spring '17
  • mrs callman
  • attorney, new york state

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