Permissible uses of character evidence include state of mind, knowledge, intent,context, motive, identity, etc. (applies both to civil and criminal proceedings)i.
State of mind
uncharged misconduct indicates something about defendant’s state of
mind at time of charged misconductii.
based on earlier bad acts, defendant would have known that he wascommitting a crime, etc.iii.
since the defendant did this similar crime in the past with this intent, he is likelyto have intent to do it again1.
similar to propensity2.
defendant may try to stipulate intent in the event that the government proves theactus reas, but the court does not have to accept the stipulation or force prosecutorto acceptiv.
completing the narrative, so that the jury will not speculate about why certainfacts are not includedv.
show reason why defendant acted, but must be specific enough (not just, robbeda bank because defendant needed money)vi.
way the crime is committed identifies defendant given defendant’s similar past
crimes: unique crime, unique location, obsessive behaviorvii.
Other proper purposes are possible, but government must have specific arguments forinclusion, not just laundry liste.
Standard of proof regarding prior actsi.
at a hearing outside the jury’s presence, judge must find enough evidence
of the conditional fact to convince a reasonable person that the fact occurred by apreponderance of the evidenceii.
Does not require a convictionf.
Evidence that is admitted under 404(b) must also undergo 403 analysisi.
Strongly probative of proper purpose?ii.
Alternative evidence available?iii.
Length of time since bad act?g.
Notice requirement for evidence admitted under 404(b)h.
evidence of habit is admissiblei.
Reactive acts rather than proactiveii.
Proved by preponderance of the evidence to the judge before admissioni.
Rule 412-415 relate to admissibility of evidence about rape victims
’ past sexual
prohibiting admission of victim’s sexual behavior except u
nder specific limitedcircumstancesi.
In criminal context the victim’s sexual behavior can only be introduced where
The defense is consent2.
The defense is that there was another cause/perpetrator3.
These rules would preclude the (constitutionally protected) right to an effectivedefense, evidence can be admitted (United States v. Bear Stops, Olden)a.
These are presumed to be probativeb.
But must still pass 403ii.
In civil context the evidence is admitted where the probative value substantiallyoutweighs the prejudice to the case/harm to victimiii.
Sexual behavior include acts of the body and mind (including past claims of sexualabuse/harms)k.
admission of the defendant’s prior
similar acts in criminal sexual assaultcases (to show propensity as well as knowledge, intent, etc.)i.