Friday, September 14, 2012

State ex. Rel. Pope v. Superior Court case brief

State ex. Rel. Pope v. Superior Court: State brings a special request that the court reconsider existing law on the admissibility of evidence concerning the unchaste character of a complaining witness in a prosecution for first-degree rape. The court finds that evidence of the victim’s sexual past will divert the jury’s attention from the real issue, the guilt or innocence of the accused. BUT the court does list exceptions to the rule where evidence of victim’s past may be relevant to D’s case: To directly refute victim’s alleged virginity, origin of disease or pregnancy, if victim engaged in prostitution, if victim engaged in sex with D before, etc.
    1. Overruled Precedent: State v. Wood: Court states that evidence of the victim’s past is okay b/c “common experience teaches us that the woman who has once departed from the paths of virtue is far more apt to consent to another lapse then is the one who has never stepped aside from that path.”

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