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The prosecutor may use any form of evidence otherwise admissible to inform the jury of past wrongdoing. Usually (but not always) this means the testimony of the alleged victim of the previous act. But the prosecutor could use photos, videos or documentary evidence in appropriate circumstances. Pa.R.E. 404(b)(1) is identical to F.R.E. 404(b)(1). It prohibits the use of evidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts to prove a person`s personality. Subsection (a). This section addresses the fundamental question of whether character certificates should be allowed.

Once the admissibility of character evidence in any form has been established under this rule, reference should be made to Rule 405, which follows, to determine the appropriate method of proof. If it is the figure of a witness, see Rules 608 and 610 for methods of evidence. (2) Permitted Use; Opinion in criminal proceedings. This evidence may be admissible for other purposes, such as proving the motive, timeliness, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, accuracy or absence of an accident. At the request of an accused in a criminal case, the prosecutor shall: (C) In a murder case, the prosecutor may present evidence of the tranquility of the alleged victim to rebut the evidence that the victim was the first aggressor. (3) Communication in a criminal case. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must provide sufficient written notice before the trial so that the accused has a fair opportunity to meet with him, or during the trial, if the court excuses the pre-trial disclosure for valid reasons, the particular nature, the permitted use and the justification for the use of such evidence that the prosecutor intends to present at trial. The notification referred to in subparagraph (b)(3) shall be given in advance of the trial in good time to give the accused a fair opportunity to collect evidence.

See Pa.R.E. 609 (b) (2) and 902 (11). The notice must be given sufficiently in advance of the trial to give the defendant and the court sufficient opportunity to consider the evidence, the purpose for which it is presented, and whether the requirements of Pa.R.E. 403 are convinced, however, that a final decision on the admissibility of evidence must await trial. See, for example, Commonwealth v. Hicks, 91 A.3d 47, 53-54 (Pa. 2014). The court may waive the obligation to terminate before judgment if there is an important reason. If notice is given during the trial after an important reason has been established, the court may need to consider protective measures to ensure that the opponent is not disadvantaged. The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard Commonwealth v. Green, who found that the trial court had wrongly upheld the Commonwealth`s earlier motion on wrongdoing in a murder trial.

The Supreme Court found that the facts of the two cases were not sufficiently similar to substantiate evidence that the accused had already committed another crime and that the defendant had therefore been unfairly disadvantaged at trial. This case is of great importance because prosecutors often try to present evidence of past misconduct on the part of the accused in serious cases, and the courts regularly grant these requests. Once a jury learns that the accused already has a criminal record, it becomes extremely difficult to get a fair trial. Therefore, it is very important that the Supreme Court has found a limit to the type of prior evidence of wrongdoing that prosecutors can present in the trial. Appellate courts have limited the prosecutor`s ability to inform the jury of an accused`s previous “wrongdoing” because of the similarity between the previous act and the act at issue. Depending on the intended use of the evidence, the previous pleadings must have a factual connection to the impugned charge. Commonwealth v. Sitler, 144 A.3d 85, 98-99 (pa. Super. 2012). For certain uses (e.g.

identity and common scheme), earlier acts must be “distinctive and so almost identical that they become the signature of the same author”. Commonwealth v Tyson, 119 A.3d 353, 359 (Pa. Super. 2015). However, trial courts assess the similarity of these acts on a case-by-case basis. Commonwealth v. Frank, 577 A.2d 609, 614 (Pa. Super. 1990). The use of circumstantial evidence is generally discouraged as it carries serious risks of bias, confusion and delay. See Michelson v. United States, 335 U.S.

469, 476 (1948) (“The general policy of excluding such evidence despite its recognized probative value is practical experience that its rejection tends to prevent confusion of issues, unjust surprise, and unreasonable prejudice.”). In criminal cases, the “leniency rule” allows an accused to present evidence of the relevant character traits of the accused and the victim. But that`s because the accused, whose freedom is at stake, may need “a counterweight to the government`s strong investigative and prosecutorial resources.” C. Mueller & L. Kirkpatrick, Evidence: Practice Under the Rules, pp. 264-5 (2nd edition 1999). See also Richard Uviller, Evidence of Character to Prove Conduct: Illusion, Illogic, and Injustice in the Courtroom, 130 U.Pa.L.Rev. 845, 855 (1982) (the rule prohibiting the use of circumstantial evidence “has been relaxed to give the defendant, with so much stake and so little conventional evidence available, special permission to tell the investigator what kind of person he really is”). These concerns do not apply to civil parties.

The amendment does not affect the admissibility of evidence of certain non-accused misconduct presented for purposes other than proof of identity under section 404(b) of the Regulations. Nor does it affect the standards of proof of character through evidence of other sexual conduct or sexual offences under rules 412-415. By its inclusion in Rule 404(a)(1), the amendment concerns only evidence of character in the form of a reputation or opinion. (ii) provide evidence of the same act by the defendant; and Pa.R.E. Paragraph 404(a) is different from paragraph 404(a) of the E.R.F. There are two differences. First, section 404(a)(2)(B) F.R.E. gives the defendant the right to present evidence of a relevant trait of the alleged victim of the offense that is subject to the restrictions of F.R.E. 412. Pennsylvania`s rule differs in that Pennsylvania has not adopted Rule 412. Instead, Pennsylvania recognizes the legal limits to this right. In particular, 18 Pa.C.S.

Section 3104 (the Protection from Rape Act) often prohibits the accused from presenting evidence of the alleged victim`s previous sexual conduct, including evidence of reputation. See comment on Pa.R.E. 412 (not accepted), below. Second, section 404(a)(4) of the P.R.E., which applies only to a civil action for assault and assault, is not part of the federal provision. It is based on Bell v. Philadelphia, 341 Pa. Super. 534, 491 A.2d 1386 (1985). Although Rule 404(b) limits its use for this type of evidence, it does not limit the nature of prior events that the district attorney may present to jurors. It does not limit them to acts that led to guilty pleas, convictions or even criminal charges. Instead, it allows the prosecutor to “provide evidence of any other crime, harm or act.” Dad. R.E.

404(b). Questions of character arise in two fundamentally different ways. (1) Character may itself be an element of a crime, claim or defence. A situation like this is commonly referred to as a “problematic character.” For example, the chastity of the victim under a law that establishes his chastity as an element of the crime of seduction, or the competence of the driver in a lawsuit for negligence to entrust a motor vehicle to an incompetent driver. It is not a question of the general relevance of the character proof, so this rule does not contain any provision in this regard. The only question concerns the admissible methods of evidence, which are immediately followed by Rule 405 of the Regulation.