Proof of the Defendant's Good Character

 

Charge: robbery.

(1) At D's trial the state calls W1, a teller at the bank, who identifies D as the robber. The state next calls W2 and proposes that W2 testify that he is familiar with D's reputation in the community and that D's reputation is one of a thieving, embezzling, bunko artist. On D's timely objection, what ruling and why? Does the objection call into play the propensity rule?

(2) Assume that D's objection to W2's testimony is sustained and the prosecution rests. D calls witness W3 to testify to D's reputation in the community as an honest, quiet person. On the district attorney's timely objection, what ruling and why? Does the objection call into play the propensity rule? Should it?

(3) Suppose the district attorney's objection is overruled. W3 testifies as proposed. On cross-examination may the district attorney ask W3--over D's objection--whether W3 has heard that last year D swindled the widow Brown?

(4) After W3 is through testifying and D has presented the rest of her case, should the state be allowed to reopen its case to offer proof of D's prior arrest for armed robbery? Why?



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