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Old November 20, 2012, 10:09 AM   #143
Mas Ayoob
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Join Date: December 1, 2005
Posts: 239
Prior bad acts by your opponent, if they were not known to you the defender at the time you harmed him, are normally not allowed into evidence. They did not have any bearing on the decision you made, the decision for which you are being judged.

Two cases in Massachusetts, Commonwealth v. Adjutant and Commonwealth v. Pring-Wilson, go against that according to that state's supreme court; ditto Arizona in Arizona v. Harold Fish. And in any state, as Frank Ettin has pointed out, if the prosecution "opens the door" with an argument like "you can't believe a nice guy like X would try to harm someone like the defendant," the judge can set the rule aside.
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