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October 2011 Archives

Conviction Reversed Due to Improper Use of Character Evidence

The Tennessee Rules of Evidence provide for limited circumstances under which a witness' credibility may be attacked or supported by opinion or reputation. Evidence of a witness' character for truthfulness or untruthfulness may be admissible. Before character for truthfulness is admissible though, the character of the witness for truthfulness must first have been attacked. Tennessee Rules of Evidence, Rule 608(a). In the recent case of State v. Thomas, M2010-01394-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2011), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals explains that attacking the credibility of a statement a witness has made is not the same thing as attacking the witness' character for truthfulness.

Conviction Reversed Due to Improper Use of Character Evidence

The Tennessee Rules of Evidence provide for limited circumstances under which a witness' credibility may be attacked or supported by opinion or reputation. Evidence of a witness' character for truthfulness or untruthfulness may be admissible. Before character for truthfulness is admissible though, the character of the witness for truthfulness must first have been attacked. Tennessee Rules of Evidence, Rule 608(a). In the recent case of State v. Thomas, M2010-01394-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2011), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals explains that attacking the credibility of a statement a witness has made is not the same thing as attacking the witness' character for truthfulness.

Conviction Reversed Due to Improper Use of Character Evidence

The Tennessee Rules of Evidence provide for limited circumstances under which a witness' credibility may be attacked or supported by opinion or reputation. Evidence of a witness' character for truthfulness or untruthfulness may be admissible. Before character for truthfulness is admissible though, the character of the witness for truthfulness must first have been attacked. Tennessee Rules of Evidence, Rule 608(a). In the recent case of State v. Thomas, M2010-01394-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2011), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals explains that attacking the credibility of a statement a witness has made is not the same thing as attacking the witness' character for truthfulness.

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