Character Evidence Questions Quiz G - Law 16

1. "Propensity" type character evidence is always inadmissible.

Select one:

TRUE.

FALSE. The reason this statement is false is as follows: Congress has created an exception to the rules to allow inclusion of evidence of similar crimes in sexual assault and child molestation caess. see FRE 413 and 414.

2. In a murder trial, evidence of prior unlawful conduct is admissible to prove guilt.

Select one:

TRUE.

FALSE. The reason this statement is false is as follows: Per FRE 404(a), evidence of character is generally inadmissible to prove that an individual acted accordingly.

3. Habit evidence is admissible to prove conduct although "propensity" character evidence is generally not

Select one:

TRUE. The reason this statement is true is as follows: Habit can be defined as a person/s ordinary, regular response in a situation that repeats itself. see page 53 textbook. Also pursuant to FRE 405(b), when character is an essential element in a case, proof may be made by reputation, opinion or by proof of specific instances of the person;s conduct, see page 43 textbook.

FALSE.

4. The prior sexual escapades of a victim in a rape case are generally admissible by the defendant, to show the victim consented to sex.

Select one:

TRUE. The reason this statement is true is as follows: quite the contrary, see FRE 412, which was introduced to limit the use of a victim's prior sexual history in criminal assault cases.

FALSE.

5. The defendant in an assault case may introduce evidence of the victim's violent character to prove self-defense.

Select one:

TRUE. The reason this statement is true is as follows: under FRE 404(a)(2), in an assault case, the defense can introduce evidence to show the viction is "hot headed" to provide an inferene tht the assault was provoked by the victim. see page 38 textbook.

FALSE.

6. In a sex crime case, evidence that an accused has committed a sex crime in the past may be used to prove he committed the sex crime in the current trial

Select one:

TRUE. The reason this statement is true is as follows: see FRE 413 and 414.

FALSE.

7. Character evidence is generally introduced through specific examples of past conduct.

Select one:

TRUE.

FALSE. The reason this statement is false is as follows: see page 41, methods of proving character are covered in FRE 405, which allows introduction of evidence of character, or a trait of character on direct examination may be made only by testimony a to reputation or in the form of opinion, and NOT specific examples of past conduct.

8. Opinion evidence is inadmissible to prove character.

Select one:

TRUE.

FALSE. The reason this statement is false is as follows: see FRE 405.

9. Character is an "ultimate issue" in any case where the intent of the defendant is in controversy.

Select one:

TRUE.

FALSE. The reason this statement is false is as follows: "essential element" and not "ultimate element" . see FRE 405(b). students can become confused when trying to determine when character is an essential element in a case. see page 43 textbook.

10. B.J.Ball has been criminally charge with injuring his neighbor's parrot by intentionally shooting at it with a sling shot. Which of the following is considered character evidence.

 

(a) During the shooting, B.J. yelled: "Polly want to fly or die?"

(b) During the shooting, B.J.'s neighbor had a flash back of seeing B.J. use his sling shot to shoot at a bunny.
The reason b should be checked is as follows: character can be defined as the nature or disposition of a person, or the particular traits that identify the way he or she would probably act under certain circumstances. see page 31 textbook.

(c) During the shooting, B.J. stumbled.

(d) During the shooting, B.J.'s neighbor violently reacted in a way that she never had before.

11. At B.J.'s criminal trial for damaging personal property of another, the prosecution in its case in chief, questions the neighbor about the last time the neighbor saw B.J. use his sling shot on a little creature. The defense attorney objects. The judge should preclude the evidence because:

(a) Character evidence: is not admissible at a criminal trial and can never be offered by the prosecution. However character evidence against a criminal defendant is not generally admissible only after the defendant "opens the door" by testifying about his own "good" character.

(b) Character evidence is not admissible at a criminal trial.

(c) Character evidence can never be offered by the prosecution.

(d) Character evidence against a criminal defendant is generally admissible only after the defendant "opens the door" by testifying about his own "good" character. The reason d should be checked is as follows: see FRE 404(a)(1) when the accused "opens the door" by offering evidence of his own "good character"

12. The neighbor sues B.J. in civil court to be reimbursed for the medical expenses incurred to revive the parrot. The neighbor begins to testify about the prior incident where B.J. shot at the little bunny. The judge should rule that the evidence in this case is inadmissible because it is:

(a) Character evidence which is not relevant in this particular case.

(b) Character evidence which is relevant but not probative of anything in this case.

(c) Character evidence which generally is not admissible at civil trials to prove propensity.
The reason c should be checked is as follows: evidence of an individual's character is generally not permitted in civil cases to prove conduct or propensity. see page 33 textbook

(d) Character evidence which is never admitted in criminal trials.

13. When the paralegal in the civil parrot case was interviewing the neighbor, the neighbor started to tell about the prior shooting. The paralegal stopped the neighbor. Was the paralegal correct in not wasting time on the prior shooting?

(a) The paralegal was incorrect because the information could have been useful inthe neighbor's case in chief.

(b) The paralegal was correct because the prior shooting is character evidence which is never admissible ina a civil trial.

(c) The paralegal was correct becasue the prior shooting only tended to prove propensity.

(d) The paralegal was incorrect because, if the defendant testified that he would not shoot a little creature, the neighbor's testimony would be admissible to discredit the credibility of the defendant.
The reason d should be checked is as follows: on cross-examnation, the prosecutor may inquire into the specific acts of defendant to rebut the character evidence proferred in the defendant's favor (i.e. he would not shoot a little creature). see page 42 textbook.

14. After the prosecution presented its case in chief, the defendant called his mother to testify as the specific times when defendant nursed little injured animals back to health. The prosecution objects. The trial court should rule that the evidence is:

(a) Inadmissible because the prosecution did not open the door by presenting evidence about the defendant's character first.

(b) Admissible because the defendant may present character evidence about himself.

(c) Inadmissible because the defendant has not presented the character evidence in the form of opinion or reputation evidence. The reason c should be checked is as follows: see FRE 405(a) methods of proving character - opinion or reputation, not specific instances.

(d) Admissible because character evidence is permitted in criminal trials.

15. Charles Cheat is charged criminally for embezzling money from his own company, thereby cheating the other stockholders. Charles, in his case in chief, presents his ever loyal secretary to testify that after working for Charles for 15 years, she has formed the opinion that Charles was incapable of stealing. The prosecution begins to cross-examine the secretary about a time when Charles told the secretary to fake the accounting ledgers. Charles' attorney objects. The judge should rule that the evidence is:

(a) Admissible if the prosecutor restricts her cross-examination to the secretary's opinion rather than about the specific incident.

(b) Inadmissible if the prosecutor cross-examines about any other specific instance of conduct.

(c) Inadmissibl,e because cross-examination about specific instance of conduct is improper.

(d) Admissible because once the defendant presents evidence of his character, the prosecutor may cross-examine regarding contrary specific instances. The reason d should be checked is as follows: see page 42 textbook, and FRE 405(b)

16. Cheryl Cheat, wife of Charles and a co-defendant in the criminal case described herein, in her case in chief, called Ms. Googoo, the president of "Luv Charity" to testify about Cheryl's reputation for devotion to unparented babies. The prosecution objects. The testimony is:

(a) Admissible because it is in proper form for character evidence.

(b) Inadmissible because "devotion" is not a pertinent character trait in Cheryl's prosecution for stealing.
The reason b should be checked is as follows: Under FRE 404(a)(1) for a character trait to be "pertinent" it must generally relate to the charges for which defendant is being tried. see page 36 textbook.

(c) Inadmissible because the prosecution has not introduced evidence of the defendant's character.

(d) Admissible because the defendant has first introduced evidence of her character.

17. The (very skimpy) clothing of Ma Donna, an alleged entertainer, was stolen while she was on stage. The defendant, I.M. Personator, claims that he did not steal Ma's clothes but that Ma gave the clothes to him. The defendant intends to present reputation testimony that Ma frequently and freely takes off her clothes for the audience. The evidence is:

(a) Inadmissible because this character trait of the victim is not pertinent to the defendant's defense.

(b) Inadmissible because the victim must first bring her character into issue by first presenting evidence about herself.

(c) Admissible because the defendant may present reputation evidence of the victim's pertinent character traits. The reason c should be checked is as follows: see methods of proving character.

(d) Admissible because the defendant is on trial for stealing

18. Ma Donna decides to retaliate in her rebuttal against I.M.'s attempted attack on Ma's character. Ma calls the manager of a dress shop, where I.M. used to work, to testify about I.M.'s reputation for stealing. The evidence is:

(a) Admissible because the defendant has opened the door regarding character.

(b) Inadmissible because I.M.'s character for stealing is not a pertinent character trait in this trial.

(c) Admissible because Ma is presenting the testimony in reputation form.

(d) Inadmissible because the rebuttal character evidence must be about Ma's pertinent character trait.
The reason d should be checked is as follows: see FRE 404(a)(1) or by the prosecution to rebut the same. I.e. a pertinent trait, and stealing is not a pertinent trait to the charges against the accused in this case.

19. After I.M. is convicted for stealing Ma's clothes, Ma sees him in a dark alley (before he is sent to jail). Something occurs and I.M. is dead. At Ma's trial for murder, she claims that I.M.attacked her (after all, he did it before) and she had to defend herself. The prosecution attempts to question I.M.'s old employer about his opinion of I.M.'s character for violence. The evidence is:

(a) Inadmissible because it is the defendant's character for violence that is pertinent rather than the dead victim's character.

(b) Inadmissible because the defendant must first offer character evidence of the victim before the prosecution is entitled to do so.

(c) Admissible because the prosecution may offer evidence, in its case in chief, of a dead victim's character for violence, or lack thereof, when the defendant is claiming self defense. The reason c should be checked is as follows: see page 37 - prosecutor can offer rebuttal evidence - because defendant has opened the door.

(d) Admissible because the prosecution may offer evidence, in its case in chief, of a victim's pertinent character trait.

20. In Ma's trial for murdering I.M., the prosecution questions the shop manager, for whom I.M. used to work, about the shop manager's name, his place of work, whether and how he knew the victim. The prosecution then asks the shop manager to tell the jurors his opinion of I.M.'s character for peacefulness. Ma's attorney, objects. The evidence should be:

(a) Inadmissible because the defendant, Ma, must first attack the victim's character.

(b) Inadmissible because the prosecution has not established that the shop manager isn't biased against Ma.

(c) Admissible if Ma's defense is self defense. The reason c should be checked is as follows:
used to rebut offer by defendant of his good character - because he has opened the door.

(d) Admissible because the prosecution can elicit character evidence about the victim in a homicide case.

21. I.M., before he died, filed a civil lawsuit against the dress shop manager for wrongful discharge. (The manager had fired I.M..) I.M.'s estate continued to litigate the case. At the trial, the shop manager (who is the defendant in this case) calls another employee to testify about specific times when I.M. was really late to work without permission or explanation. The attorney for I.M.'s estate objects. The evidence should be:

(a) Inadmissible because the defendant may not introduce character evidence in the form of specific instances.

(b) Inadmissible because the character of I.M., the plaintiff, is not an issue in the case.

(c) Admissible because testimony about the specific times I.M. was late is an essential element of the shop manager's defense. The reason c should be checked is as follows: see FRE 405(b), and page 43, "when character is an ultimate issue"

(d) Admissible because the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit may introduce character evidence first.

22. Wanda was injured by a toilet seat, which she alleges that Harry rigged to hurt her. She accused Harry of assault and intentional infliction of injury. The prosecution at Harry's trial proffers evidence of specific instances when Harry had previously rigged the toilet seat to inflict pain on Wanda. The defense attorney objects. The evidence should be:

(a) Inadmissible because the prosecution cannot offer evidence of the defendant's character before the defendant does so.

(b) Admissible to show that Harry intended to harm Wanda and that his actions were neither a mistake nor an accident. The reason b should be checked is as follows: FRE 404(b) , evidence of extrinsic offenses may be admittied if offering such things as "motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident". see page 46 of the textbook.

(c) Inadmissible because the prosecution may not use specific instance of conduct to prove Harry's character.

(d) Admissible if defendant Harry has claimed self defense.


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