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Heresy on prior crimes evidence

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We all learn in law school that evidence of defendant's prior crimes is terribly prejudicial.  That belief is deeply ingrained in our law of evidence.  The Federal Rules of Evidence make an exception for sexual assault cases, but logically the probative/prejudice balance should be no different for other crimes.  (New York does not have this exception, as noted in this post on the DSK case.)

But what if the premise isn't true at all?  What if telling the jury about the defendant's priors is not the kiss of death?  Larry Laudan and Ronald Allen contend that what we have all learned from the beginning is not true, and they advocate for a general rule of admissibility of the priors in the current issue of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (vol. 101, p. 493).

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