Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.
Duplicate of another approved link: 11036628


(CNN)   Pennsylvania Supreme Court seems to generally be considering flipping and a flopping Bill Cosby's conviction for the bipping and the bopping   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Followup  
•       •       •

382 clicks;  Favorite

8 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-12-01 3:29:08 PM  
I have already heard that you can't use 'past behavior' as evidence in a criminal trial, but it seems to be a very big thing in rape trials.  Which makes sense.  Short of direct evidence (which might not always be available) or a rare case where it's directly witnessed, it's hard to convict since you can't just rely on an accusation alone.  So often people seem to rely on a pattern of behavior to convict.  Which happened here.

So I guess I'm curious as to when it's appropriate to use that sort of thing and when it's not.
 
2020-12-01 3:42:34 PM  
If they do this, they might as well go whole hog and declare that a woman has to have two male witnesses to any sexual assault or it didn't happen.

Fu*k these freaks. I hope they all get raped alone in the dark forever.
 
2020-12-01 3:58:54 PM  

jake3988: I have already heard that you can't use 'past behavior' as evidence in a criminal trial, but it seems to be a very big thing in rape trials.  Which makes sense.  Short of direct evidence (which might not always be available) or a rare case where it's directly witnessed, it's hard to convict since you can't just rely on an accusation alone.  So often people seem to rely on a pattern of behavior to convict.  Which happened here.

So I guess I'm curious as to when it's appropriate to use that sort of thing and when it's not.



The main issue is that a jury must find that you committed THIS crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  Not that you are a bad, bad man and therefore you should be in jail because, fark you, you're evil.

Typically, your prior bad conduct only gets into evidence to impeach your testimony.  You get on the witness stand in your own defense, your credibility is at issue and can be attacked with credible evidence that you have a history of being very naughty.

So very generally speaking (I don't know PA law and I'm not a criminal defense attorney so you should not take me too seriously here), prior bad acts should not come in if you don't get in the box and testify (as I don't think Cosby did).

The typical standard for allowing prior bad acts into evidence involves something like a unique signature that is highly indicative of the commission of the act in this specific case.  A prosecutor might, for example, be able to get in prior convictions in which you raped someone in a very unique way and then point out that the evidence in this case is essentially identical.

The judge typically has to conclude that the probative value of that prior act is really overwhelming and must instruct the jury that they cannot under convict based on the fact of prior bad acts, even if you believe that the defendant really did them.  You can only convict if you believe he did THIS ONE beyond reasonable doubt.

My impression has been that it's a really high bar to convince the average judge to let in prior bad acts on direct (not cross).  It's just one of those third rail things that sets you up for reversal.


The other part of the appeal -- the fact that the prosecutor had led Cosby to believe they would not charge him and then did so after getting admissions from him -- is the part that has a lot of the defense bar riled up.  The deck is so stacked in favor of prosecutors and the police already that it is frustrating that the judges could let that slide.
 
2020-12-01 4:00:23 PM  
Mods, I think this is a duplicate.
 
2020-12-01 4:08:18 PM  
+1 subby
 
2020-12-01 4:14:45 PM  

jake3988: I have already heard that you can't use 'past behavior' as evidence in a criminal trial, but it seems to be a very big thing in rape trials.  Which makes sense.  Short of direct evidence (which might not always be available) or a rare case where it's directly witnessed, it's hard to convict since you can't just rely on an accusation alone.  So often people seem to rely on a pattern of behavior to convict.  Which happened here.

So I guess I'm curious as to when it's appropriate to use that sort of thing and when it's not.


This is a state case, and I don't know PA rules of evidence but under federal rules of evidence, the prosecution can admit evidence of past rapes or child rapes. This is not the norm for past criminal activity (but there are ways it can get in), because you're supposed to be on trial for the crime at hand, not what came before.

This is the kind of thing that can really sink somebody. I saw a fairly weak case for attempted rape of a 14-year-old - 50-year-old guy was alone with teen girl, pushed her onto bed, then thought better of it and gave up. What got the jury was his 30-year-old daughter testifying about how her father raped her regularly from the ages of 9 to 14, when she fled home and had to live on her own.
 
2020-12-01 4:55:04 PM  
Literally a repeat of the next link down.  Is anyone even trying any more?
 
2020-12-01 5:09:00 PM  

browneye: Mods, I think this is a duplicate.


cousin-merle: Literally a repeat of the next link down.  Is anyone even trying any more?


I thought so, too, but they did use the FOLLOWUP tag, so I didn't say anything.
 
Displayed 8 of 8 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.