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University of Alabama School of Law
Carodine, Montre D.




FRE 606(b)

(b) During an Inquiry into the Validity of a Verdict or Indictment.

(1) Prohibited Testimony or Other Evidence. During an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or indictment, a juror may not testify about any statement made or incident that occurred during the jury’s deliberations; the effect of anything on that juror’s or another juror’s vote; or any juror’s mental processes concerning the verdict or indictment. The court may not receive a juror’s affidavit or evidence of a juror’s statement on these matters.

(2) Exceptions. A juror may testify about whether:

(A) extraneous prejudicial information was improperly brought to the jury’s attention;

(B) an outside influence was improperly brought to bear on any juror; or

(C) a mistake was made in entering the verdict on the verdict form.

Tanner V. U.S. 483 U.S. 107 (1987)

Following conviction, defendant attempted to demonstrate juror misconduct involving drug and alcohol consumption

Sought new trial, evidence ruled inadmissible under 606(b)

Juror intoxication not admissible in a motion for new trial

R: We want to protect the imperfect jury system from the barrage of assaults it could face if the internal matters (mental inompetence, sick jurors, etc.) were so exposed. External influences (bribe, improperly hearing news, etc.) are admissible in such a case

Congress expressly rejected a bill that would allow this


Evidence is relevant if:

(a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and

(b) the fact is of consequence in determining the action.


Relevant evidence is admissible unless any of the following provides otherwise:

the United States Constitution;

a federal statute;

these rules; or

other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court.

Irrelevant evidence is not admissible.

U.S. v. James 169 F.3d 1210

Defendant was convicted of aiding and abetting her daughter in manslaughter of defendant’s boyfriend

Boyfriend had a violent past and had bragged about various altercations to defendant

During an altercation, defendant gave daughter her gun to protect herself and family, daughter killed him

Trial judge excluded extrinsic evidence of boyfriends violent past because there was no way Defendant could have known specifically about it

Criminal records would have corroborated the stories told to defendant, but she couldn’t have known records existed

Wanted to admit them to prove state of mind at the time of altercation

R: En Banc court reversed decision

Rule- documentary records are admissible to corroborate testimony and bolster credibility eve when the testifying witness being corroborated or testified did not know the contents of the records

Help prove defendants credibility- Cts must consider the materiality and probative value.

FRE 104(b)- Relevance That Depends on a Fact.

When the relevance of evidence depends on whether a fact exists, proof must be introduced sufficient to support a finding that the fact does exist. The court may admit the proposed evidence on the condition that the proof be introduced later.

Cox v. State- 696 N.E.2d 853 (Ind. Sup. Ct. 1998)

F: Defendant was a close friend of a man arrested for molesting a young child

Defendant shot into the bedroom of the child’s parents, killing the father

Trial court admitted evidence of molester’s bond hearing a few days before the murder at which bond was not reduced. Introduced as motive

Under the theory that defendant likely knew about it (was very close friends, at his house all the time)

Appeal ct affirmed

R: Conditionally relevant evidence is admissible if a judge determines that a reasonable jury could make the requisite factual finding based on the evidence before it.


The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.

State v. Bocharski

At defendant’s trial for murder, prosecution introduced several grisly photographs of the victim’s decomposed body and fatal stab wounds.

Defendant appeals arguing they were highly prejudicial and not particularly probative.

R: Although gruesome photos may be relevant in a murder trial, not every photograph is admissible if its purpose is merely to inflame or outrage the jury and prejudice the defense.

Commonwealth v. Serge

As part of its case, Commonwealth had a computer-generated animation (CGA) made. Defendant appealed its admission saying in unfai

ardiac arrest and died the next day

Hospital subsequently changed their policy regarding that particular medicine

R: Subsequent remedial measure evidence is not generally admissible for impeachment purposes if it is merely offered to contradict a defense witness’s testimony


(a) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of the following is not admissible — on behalf of any party — either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior inconsistent statement or a contradiction:

(1) furnishing, promising, or offering — or accepting, promising to accept, or offering to accept — a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim; and

(2) conduct or a statement made during compromise negotiations about the claim — except when offered in a criminal case and when the negotiations related to a claim by a public office in the exercise of its regulatory, investigative, or enforcement authority.

(b) Exceptions. The court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as proving a witness’s bias or prejudice, negating a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution.

Bankcard America, Inc. v. Universal Bancard Systems, Inc.

Bankcard subcontracted with Universal to sign up merchants for credit card transactions

Universal agreed to refrain from recruiting any Bankcard competitors for a year after termination of the contract

Bankcard terminated the contract, Universal sued for breach of contract and counterclaimed for breach of contract

Universal began turning accounts over to a Bankcard competitor, under the belief it was allowed to under the settlement

R: Evidence of settlement negotiations is admissible if offered for a purpose other than to establish liability

We don’t want to let it in if they just want to prove that the other side is liable and tried to settle

But can allow it for other reasons