Proof of the Defendant's Violent Character

 
Charge: murder by strangulation, bludgeoning, stabbing, and burning.

(1) As part of the state's case-in-chief the district attorney offers the testimony of witness A to testify that for the past 20 years she has lived in the same town as D and that she knows D's reputation in the community to be that of a vicious bully and troublemaker, prone to violence and breaches of the peace. D objects to A's testimony. What ruling and why?

(2) Suppose that D's objection to A's testimony is sustained. The district attorney next offers witness B to testify that on May 1, a year ago, D committed an armed robbery of B. D objects to B's testimony. What ruling and why?

(3) Suppose that D's objection to B's testimony is sustained. The district attorney introduces a certified record of D's conviction for armed robbery of B one year ago. Should this evidence be admitted over D's objection?

(4) Suppose that D's objection to proof of his prior conviction, on the grounds that the evidence is irrelevant, incompetent, immaterial, and prejudicial, is overruled and the evidence is admitted. D is convicted. On appeal the judgment is affirmed by the state supreme court, which holds that such evidence is admissible to show D's propensity as a habitual criminal, thus affecting the degree of punishment. D's petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court is granted. Has D been deprived of due process of law?



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