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Evidence
Charleston School of Law
Beckman, Sydney Aaron

I.                   Chapter 1: RELEVANCE – logical and legal

A.     Rule 606(b) – Tanner v. US – drunk/high jurors : Following a verdict in a criminal action, a court is not required to consider evidence of juror intoxication in a motion for a new trial.
1.             Juror may not testify as to the effect of anything on the juror’s mind or emotions as influencing the juror to assent to or dissent from the verdict or indictment.
2.             Exceptions: may testify whether extraneous prejudicial information was improperly brought to jury’s attention or whether there was improper influence.
3.             US v. Dioguardi – internal influence
B.     .Rule 401 (probativeness)– “Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.”
1.             If no one objects, evidence comes in


2.             R. 401 – “Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.”
3.             “Conditional relevance” – probative value depends also on existence of a fact.
a. example: if evidence of a spoken statement is relied upon to prove notice, probative value is lacking unless the person sought to be charged heard the statement.
A.     Rule 402 (probativeness) – evidence that is not relevant is not admissible, MOST relevant evidence is admissible
1.      All relevant evidence is admissible, EXCEPT. . .
2.      as provided by the Constitution, Act of Congress, rules, or other rules.
B.     Rule 403 (legal relevancy) exceptions – relevant evidence may be excluded if it poses problems that “substantially outweigh” its probative value”(by prejudice, confusion, etc.)
i.      MAY – decisions committed to the trial judge’s discretion, abuse of discretion upon review only
ii.      unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading jury > may be examined on review
iii.      consideration of undue delay, waste of time, needless presentation of cumulative evidence > not likely to b heard on appeal
iv.      “unfair prejudice” – within its context means an undue tendency to suggest decision on an improper basis, commonly, though not necessarily, an emotional one.
v.      Even if such evils actually outweigh probative value, though only slightly, the rule still grants no permission to exclude. Only if these evils “substantially outweigh” the probative value does Rule 403 extend to the judge discretion to exclude it.
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1.           pg. 38-39
2.           State v. Bocharski(photos & other inflammatory evidence) – D was convicted of murder of an 84 yr. old acquaintance of D and a friend. She was found dead w/ 16 stab wounds. D’s friend gave him a Kabar. Trial ct. allowed 6 gruesome photographs into evidence. Rule 401 (makes fact more probably or less probable is relevant). “Nothing before us suggests that the juror’s thoughtful consideration of the evidence was hampered by the objectionable photographs.”(43)
i.      not every relevant photograph is admissible.
ii.       
1.           US v. James (Materiality) – Documentary records are admissible to corroborate testimony and bolster credibility even when the testifying witness being corrobor

fense from being used by Prosecution in his current case for assault w. deadly weapon and violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).
2.             the court may allow a Δ to concede that he had a prior offense before the gov. identifies the offense.
3.             Rule 403 authorizes the exclusion of relevant evidence when its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.
MATERIAL: bear on a fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action.
PROBATIVE: evidence must have a tendency to make the existence of that fact more probably or less probably than it would be without the evidence.
RELEVANCE: tendency to make existence of any fact more or less probable that it would be w/o
II.                Chapter II: Specialized Relevance Rules (R. 407-411)
–          A. Rule 408 only applies to :ONLY APPLIES TO CIVIL CASES claim: A demand for money, property, or a legal remedy to which one asserts a right; esp., the part of a complaint in a civil action specifying what relief the plaintiff asks for.
1.Compromise Negotiations are Only Excluded when:
A lawsuit is already pending
A lawsuit has been threatened
A lawsuit has been tried
Before a lawsuit is filed or threatened
Admissibility
FRE 401

If evidence has any tendency
to make a material fact
more or less probable.

Then it is admissible
Unless otherwise barred