Character

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Related to characteristically: in favor of, disillusion, emphasises, foisted

CHARACTER, evidence. The opinion generally entertained of a person derived from the common re 'port of the people who are acquainted with him. 3 Serg. & R. 336; 3 Mass. 192; 3 Esp. C. 236.
     2. There are three classes of cases on which the moral character and conduct of a person in society may be used in proof before a jury, each resting upon particular and distinct grounds. Such evidence is admissible, 1st. To afford a presumption that a particular party has not been guilty of a criminal act. 2d. To affect the damages in particular cases, where their amount depends on the character and conduct of any individual; and, 3d. To impeach or confirm the veracity of a witness.
     3.-1. Where the guilt of an accused party is doubtful, and the character of the supposed agent is involved in the question, a presumption of innocence arises from his former conduct in society, as evidenced by his general character, since it is not probable that a person of known probity and humanity, would commit a dishonest or outrageous act in the particular instance. Such presumptions, however, are so remote from fact, and it is frequently so difficult to estimate a person's real character, that they are entitled to little weight, except in doubtful cases. Since the law considers a presumption of this nature to be admissible, it is in principle admissible 'Whenever a reasonable presumption arises from it, as to the fact in question; in practice it is admitted whenever the character of the party is involved in the issue. See 2 St. Tr. 1038 1 Coxes Rep. 424; 5 Serg. & R. 352 3 Bibb, R. 195; 2 Bibb, R. 286; 5 Day, R. 260; 5 Esp. C. 13; 3 Camp. C. 519; 1 Camp. C. 460; Str. R. 925. Tha. Cr. Cas. 230; 5 Port. 382.
     4.-2. In some instances evidence in disparagement of character is admissible, not in order to prove or disprove the commission of a particular fact, but with a view to damages. In actions for criminal conversation with the plaintiff's wife, evidence may be given of the wife's general bad character, for want of chastity, and even of particular acts of adultery committed by her, previous to her intercourse with the defendant. B. N. P. 27, 296; 12 Mod. 232; 3 Esp. C. 236. See 5 Munf. 10. In actions for slander and libel, when the defendant has not justified, evidence of the plaintiff's bad character has also been admitted. 3 Camp. C. 251; 1 M. & S. 284; 2 Esp. C. 720; 2 Nott & M'Cord, 511; 1 Nott & M'Cord, 268; and see 11 Johns. R. 38; 1 Root, R. 449; 1 Johns. R. 46; 6 Penna. St. Rep. 170. The ground of admitting such evidence is, that a person of disparaged fame is not entitled to the same measure of damages with one whose character is unblemished. When, however, the defendant justifies the slander, it seems to be doubtful whether the evidence of reports as to the conduct and character of the plaintiff can be received. See 1 M. & S. 286, n (a) 3 Mass. R. 553 1 Pick. R. 19. When evidence is admitted touching the general character of a party, it is manifest that it is to be confined to matters in reference to the nature of the, charge against him. 2 Wend. 352.
     5.-3. The party against whom a witness is called, may disprove the fact& stated by him, or may examine other witnesses as to his general character; but they will not be allowed to speak of particular facts or parts of his conduct. B. N. P. 296. For example, evidence of the general character of a prosecutrix for a rape, may be given, as that she was a street walker; but evidence of specific acts of criminality cannot be admitted. 3 Carr. & P. 589. The regular mode is to inquire whether the witness under examination has the means of knowing the former witness general character, and whether from such knowledge he would believe, him on his oath. 4 St. Tr. 693; 4 Esp. C. 102. In answer to such evidence against character, the other party may cross-examine the witness as to his means of knowledge, and the grounds of his opinion; or he may attack such witness general character, and by fresh evidence support the character of his own. 2 Stark. C. 151; Id. 241; St. Ev. pt. 4, 1753 to 1758; 1 Phil. Ev. 229. A party cannot give evidence to confirm the good character of a witness, unless his general character has been impugned by his antagonist. 9 Watts, R. 124. See, in general, as to character, Phil. Ev. Index, tit. Character; Stark. Ev. pl. 4, 364 Swift's Ev. 140 to 144 5 Ohio R. 227; Greenl. Ev. Sec. 54; 3 Hill, R. 178 Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
But the investment looks characteristically opportune, and Qatar's support for troubled banks in the euro zone may not end there.
In addition, hedge fund strategy leadership has varied across time periods of accelerating inflation, with Emerging Markets and Equity Hedge funds characteristically providing the greatest inflation protection.
Series four of the successful late-teen drama Skins hits our screens on Thursday with a characteristically eventful opening episode.
"And characteristically Tory that he wants to be judged on how many cuts he pushes through."
I am not putting this question to the tiny and characteristically vocal minority who have vested interests in nuclear power and who, with few exceptions, make sure they live well away from proposed nuclear power stations.
He won the Military Medal, but characteristically kept hidden the nature of the valorous action for which it was awarded.
Characteristically, Chalabi, 61, could land on his feet in a high government post even though he failed to win even a minimum of votes from the Iraqi people."
In a characteristically refined, subtle fashion, Cruz's project troubled not just the fantasy of the perfect translation, but also the idea that, were one to peer into his mind, one might find there a more polished or nuanced version of Don Quixote than the one that fell so haltingly on listeners' ears in the gallery.
In an earnest, but characteristically silly article of recent vintage, USA Today demanded to know why CEOs refuse to get "tangled up in messy blogs." Given that 8.5 million people are now writing blogs somewhere on this planet, and given that many "outspoken" CEOs genuinely enjoy mixing it up with the competition, why is there not a single Fortune 1000 chairman or CEO regularly recording his or her thoughts on the Internet?
Young readers will learn why flamingos characteristically stand on one leg and eat upside down, how flamingos stay dry, if flamingos can salute, how flamingos can bend their knees backwards, why they have webbed feet, how many eggs they lay, whether or not baby flamingos are pink, and more.
In the third book of the miniseries Sex & the Supper Club, author Kristin Hardy's characteristically sophisticated prose creates a world of glamour in NOTHING BUT THE BEST.
Sarah Kane's characteristically unrelenting Cleansed will be seen for the first time in Italy, directed by Marco Plini.

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