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Evidence Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

A Rude Awakening: What To Do With The Sleepwalking Defense?, Mike Horn Dec 2004

A Rude Awakening: What To Do With The Sleepwalking Defense?, Mike Horn

Boston College Law Review

Some sleepwalkers commit acts of violence, or even murder, in their sleep. Courts must decide what to do with criminal defendants who raise a defense of sleepwalking. A brief review of common law reveals that courts apply the defense inconsistently under various doctrines of justification and excuse. Sleepwalking is a unique medical phenomenon, and courts are poorly equipped to evaluate claims of sleepwalking under existing common law defenses. This Note proposes a single sleepwalking defense based on a balancing test that integrates the medical understanding of sleepwalking.


"He Looks Guilty": Reforming Good Character Evidence To Undercut The Presumption Of Guilt., Josephine Ross Jun 2004

"He Looks Guilty": Reforming Good Character Evidence To Undercut The Presumption Of Guilt., Josephine Ross

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Juries often use short-cuts to determine the character of the accused, such as their job, age, race, gender, marital status, or what the person looks like. These short-cuts often substitute for character evidence in courtrooms across the United States, adding to the divide in the criminal justice system today. This problem provides a lens to examine the character evidence rules and how they are implemented. Rules governing good and bad character evidence themselves have been turned on their head. A defendant’s right to put in good character has been called “deeply imbedded in our jurisprudence.” Nevertheless, the rules currently ...