THE CHARACTER EVIDENCE
PROHIBITION: A REVIEW OF ITS HISTORICAL EVOLUTION IN THE ANGLO-AMERICAN COMMON LAW TRADITION AND ITS MODERN TREATMENT BY THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE
Donald G Casswell, "Through the Admissibility of Evidence Maze: An Attempt at a Purposive Structuring" (1991) 29:3 Alta L Rev 584 at 613-14 (Canadian evidence rules that require limiting instructions include the hearsay rule, prior-conviction evidence, prior inconsistent statements, character evidence
and similar facts, and statements by co-accused).
these rules as the "character evidence
prohibition," (19) but
After hearing further arguments from both sides, the district court ruled the photographs admissible over the defendant's objection that they were character evidence
and unduly prejudicial.
Let us be clear about the logic of the situation: in acknowledging that good character evidence
is (exculpatorily) relevant, the courts are committed to saying that:
(15) The advisory comment accompanying Rule 404 notes explicitly that character evidence
tends to distract from probatively valuable evidence.
(79) This violates Rule 404(a), which generally prohibits the introduction of character evidence
. (80) Or rather, this would violate Rule 404(a) if it were recognized for what it is--evidence--and the Rules of Evidence were applied accordingly.
Background information on the rule is as follows: FRE 404(a)(2)(B)(ii) appears in the first section of FRE 404, entitled "Character Evidence
." (112) It allows rebuttal of victim character evidence
with evidence of the "same trait" of the defendant.
Similarly, the lyric did not constitute character evidence
inadmissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b).
It covers the basics; relevance, unfair prejudice, and excluding evidence for reasons of policy; preliminary facts and laying a foundation; objections and offers of proof; best and secondary evidence rules and judicial notice; character evidence
; habit; uncharged misconduct evidence; lay and expert witnesses; cross-examination, impeachment, and rehabilitation of witnesses; hearsay; privilege; and presumptions.
Retired Dublin fire officer John Kidd gave character evidence
saying Ducie helped organise events raising funds for a children's cancer charity.
Mr Cole said character evidence
had been "overwhelmingly positive of a hard working, diligent and worthy officer".