CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Evidence: Prior Convictions


United States v. Tanner, 63 M.J. 445 (for the purpose of admitting a prior conviction into evidence, a court-martial conviction occurs when a sentence has been adjudged; the prosecution may introduce evidence of a prior conviction during the pendency of an appeal therefrom). 




United States v. Meghdadi, 60 M.J. 438 (M.R.E. 608(c) [Evidence of bias] permits introduction of evidence, extrinsic or otherwise, tending to establish bias, prejudice, or motive to misrepresent on the part of a witness; M.R.E. 613(b) [Extrinsic evidence of prior inconsistent statement of witness] permits the extrinsic evidence of prior inconsistent statements if the witness denies making them, or equivocates).



United States v. Cobia, 53 MJ 305 (once a defendant preemptively introduces evidence of a prior conviction on direct examination in order to take the impeaching sting out of the prior conviction, he may not complain on appeal that the admission of such evidence was error).

(appellant’s complete denial of the commission of any of the acts comprising the charges against him at his court-martial opened the door for contradictory evidence in the form of appellant’s prior civilian guilty plea to the same acts; such circumstances fall within an exception to the rule preventing the introduction of collateral evidence solely to attack the credibility of a witness where the evidence goes to the matter at issue and could be introduced independently of the contradiction of the testimony of the witness).

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