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Lost In A Maze Of Character Evidence: How The Federal Courts Lack A Cohesive Approach To Applying Federal Rule Of Evidence 404(B) In Drug Distribution Cases, Brian Byrne Apr 2016

Lost In A Maze Of Character Evidence: How The Federal Courts Lack A Cohesive Approach To Applying Federal Rule Of Evidence 404(B) In Drug Distribution Cases, Brian Byrne

Pace Law Review

The admission of a criminal defendant’s prior bad acts can be a powerful tool for attaining a conviction. The federal courts are currently divided as to whether the defendant’s prior drug use is admissible under Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence when the defendant is charged with distributing a controlled dangerous substance.

Part I of this Comment will briefly explore the historical roots of Rule 404(b). Part II will examine the permissible purposes for admitting prior bad acts under Rule 404(b). Part III will discuss the circuit split that has developed as to ...


The Prosecutor’S Duty Of Silence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2016

The Prosecutor’S Duty Of Silence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Prosecutors enjoy broad opportunities to communicate with the public outside the courtroom. Justice Holmes’s famous dictum -- “The theory of our system is that conclusions to be reached in a case will be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence, whether of private talk or public print” – is just that – a “theory.” The reality is otherwise. Prosecutors, and defense lawyers too, engage in extrajudicial speech frequently, and often irresponsibly. But in contrast to other lawyers, prosecutors have a higher “special” duty to serve justice rather than a private client. And public statements ...


In Memory Of Monroe Freedman: The Hardest Question For A Prosecutor, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2016

In Memory Of Monroe Freedman: The Hardest Question For A Prosecutor, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

I’ve chosen to honor Monroe Freedman’s iconic essay on the hardest questions for a criminal defense attorney by posing the same question for prosecutors. What is the hardest question for a prosecutor? This in itself is a hard question. The thousands of federal, state, and local prosecutors in the country would likely give widely varying responses – discretionary charging, immunity grants, bargained pleas, unreliable witnesses, police testimony, and disclosure duties, for starters. Too, prosecutors are not a generic group. Just as some defense lawyers might recoil or be indifferent to Freedman’s provocative thesis, so might many prosecutors reject ...